First, let’s set the stage for the following quote by Bruce Bartlett by ticking off a few items on Bartlett’s resume: 1) worked for libertarian Ron Paul; 2) worked for supply sider Jack Kemp, including “helping to draft the Kemp-Roth tax bill, which ultimately formed the basis of Ronald Reagan’s 1981 tax cut;” 3) worked as a senior fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation; 4) served as a senior policy analyst in the Reagan Administration Office of Policy Development, as well as “deputy assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury Department, where he served until the end of the administration of George H.W. Bush;” 5) worked at the Cato Institute and then the “National Center for Policy Analysis, a free-market think tank based in Dallas, Texas.” Bottom line: Bartlett’s conservative economic credentials are impeccable, unassailable, you name it. With that in mind, here are his thoughts on who’s at fault for the U.S. economy:
“Basically we’re still stuck in the situation we were three years ago and we haven’t made any progress at all except that our problems are much worse because of political reasons, because we now have a crazy party in charge of one of the Houses of our Congress and they won’t allow anything to happen because it’s in their vested interest to make things worse,” Bartlett explained in his typically exasperated way. “Plus they have a theory that is completely nuts…. I’m very depressed. I’d love to see some program like this [paper] enacted. I see zero chance of it happening. The most we can hope for is that a complete crazy person like Newt Gingrich gets the Republican nomination, the Republicans lose so badly that they lose control of the House and don’t get control of the Senate and then maybe in a year we can finally talk about doing something rational such as what is discussed in this paper.”
When people with sterling Republican and conservative credentials start agreeing with we’ve been saying in the progressive blogosphere for the past 3 years, you really have a clear choice: trust Boehner/Cantor/Gingrich/Romney/Perry/Norquist; or open your eyes, look at the empirical evidence yourself, and realize that Bartlett’s calling things exactly as they are. It’s not a tough choice.