* Michael Grunwald says the debate showed exactly why Republicans dislike talking about the 2008 financial meltdown so much.
The upshot here is that austerity politics is a one-way street. When times are bad, Democrats box themselves into thinking that their social justice priorities are going to have to be sacrificed at the altar of the almighty deficit, but Republicans feel no such compunction. Instead they constantly bellyache about how spending they don’t like is going to lock our children into permanent debt slavery, but forget all about it when they get a chance to cut taxes on the rich. As Dick Cheney once said, “Ronald Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.”
The key here is “spending they don’t like.” If Republicans say “we can’t afford X,” you can bet that X is something they’d be happy to get rid of entirely.
* And yesterday, Rand Paul voiced doubt about climate science by noting that there have been “times when carbon in the atmosphere has been higher.” Darren Samuelsohn responds:
The good news for the senator: He’s right. Scientists believe carbon dioxide levels were once far, far higher than they are today. The bad news: There were no humans. Whatever the earth was like to live on, it was populated by a very different set of species.
That’s a Geppetto Checkmark for you, Senator! — gs