Andrew Sullivan, commenting on a remark about the enormous bailouts being put into place by Western governments, has this to say:
“The debt was so reckless and so immense that it now threatens to destroy the entire financial system. That’s what electing George W Bush twice has done for us. But then we are told that this threat requires us to do even more of the borrowing and spending before we can begin to get ourselves back in balance again. The unchallenged doctrine of the day is that: doing nothing would provoke a worse collapse than necessary and so we have to make our fiscal situation much worse now in order to make it much better later. Why am I not convinced?”
Well, Sullivan is obviously right that the way to solve our debt addiction is not to go on the equivalent of yet another binge in the hope of relieving the hangover. Although his glib remark that re-electing Bush twice has added to the debt addiction does rather ignore, for example, the role of the Democrats, for example, in opposing Bush’s attempts to constrain the US federal home mortgage agencies, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. He is right though to chide the Republicans for letting spendng soar, but then I fear that Sullivan has become such a victim of Bush Derangement Syndrome that even a good point now becomes distorted through his worship of Mr Obama. And if it is debt addiction Sullivan is worried about, I somehow do not expect the Community Organiser to be the one to decisively take us back to the days of small government.