|taxes and deficits
Off the Wagon
by Paul Krugman
Picture a recovering alcoholic falling off the wagon. First he says he can handle a few drinks. Then, when his inebriation can't be denied, he insists it's only a temporary lapse. But eventually he turns mean. "What's so great about being sober?" he growls, reaching for another bottle.
As a drunk is to alcohol, the Bush administration is to budget deficits.
The current Administration likes its initiatives faith- based, and there has never been much secret about which faith constitutes the base. "Christ," Governor George W. Bush replied during a 1999 primary debate, when asked to name his favorite political philosopher. In the ambit of Bush the President, piety is next to godliness. According to a former Bush staffer, Evangelical Christianity is the "predominant creed" at the White House, and a tardy arrival is apt to be greeted with the reproach "Missed you at Bible study."
After the unveiling last Tuesday of Bush's "economic stimulus package," though, one has to wonder, and not for the first time, just which Bible these good people have been studying. It must be some sort of Heavily Revised Nonstandard Version, whose verses are familiar yet subtly different:
He that hath pity upon the rich lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will pay him again. (Proverbs 19:17)
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell what thou hast, and give to the rich, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven. (Matthew 19:21)
For the love of money is the root of all good. (I Timothy 6:10)