Budget Deficit

Reason Writers in the New York Post: Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch on the Debt-Ceiling Debate


Writing in the Sunday New York Post, Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch criticize the serial abuses of language in the debt-ceiling debate. Sample:

A funny thing happened on the way to a resolution over raising the nation's credit limit: The most basic definitions of easy-to-understand words such as "spending," "increase" and "budget cuts" went out the window faster than Anthony Weiner's political career. […]

The high stakes, and inevitable political melodrama that comes with it, have produced a double-rainbow of demonstrably false statements about the basic matter at hand. New York Times economics blogger (and former Reagan administration official) Bruce Bartlett, for example, wrote about "President Obama's endorsement of large budget cuts," much like Speaker of the House John Boehner saying that under his debt-limit plan, "Spending cuts exceed the debt limit hike."

Would that either of these phrases was even vaguely true.

Read the whole thing here.

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  1. Looks like they caught DB Cooper.

    Just when he made my site


      1. Don’t worry, no one clicks the blogwhore’s links. Ever. She’ll post some kind of referrer log stats, of course, but that’s just bing and google bot-scanning her. Of course, she’s too stupid to understand that. But that’s what makes her special. As in, “retarded” special.

        1. Referrer Views
          reason.com 4,655

            1. don’t waste your precious time

            2. Really a good site…

              I recommend this jewelry online store – welcome!


          1. Compared to 85 days ago, a change of 1400. https://reason.com/blog/2011/05…..t_2274796. Less than 20 per day.

        2. Like I said, she’ll post something stupid about referrer logs. Remember, “special” isn’t just a state of mind.

          1. You are an idiot. I will type s l o w e r for you

        3. Yep. I have never clicked a rectal link, never will.

      1. They are listening to you 🙁

        Poor baby has no control over libertarians 🙁

  2. You’re Gonna Pay!

  3. The Town, Sophie’s Choice, Titanic… film metaphors are fun. Let me try.

    Brazil: Sam (Tea Party) attempts to overcome bureaucracy and powerful statists to right a wrong (unsustainable deficit spending), but end up in the torturer’s chair (the media) having holes drilled in their head while dreaming of utopia (um.. President Ron Paul?).

  4. If all this suggests a movie, it’s not “The Town” and it’s certainly not “Sophie’s Choice.” It’s “Titanic,” which is all about a supposedly impregnable ship being sunk by hubris and carelessness.

    Congress can’t be both the captain and the iceberg.

    1. Team Captain and Team Iceberg?

  5. Cannibalistic bands of hunter-gatherers will start roaming the streets of DC and Bumfuck, New Jersey if the debt ceiling isn’t raised.

    And all the roads are going to spontaneously combust into nonexistence.

    And black kids will be dying in the street of starvation.

    And polar bears will drop from the sky.


  6. “Would that either of these phrases was even vaguely true.”

    Would that the sentence above, written by professional writers, edited by professional editors, and published in a long-established, “mainstream” newspaper, WERE formed with even more attention to correct grammar.

    When somebody makes a mistake in a blog posting or comment, no problem — I myself commit such errors almost daily. But the standards are supposed to be higher for an actual article in a “real” magazine or mainstream newspaper (at least, to judge by the rhetoric of those who inveigh against the death of “old media”). Would that it were true. Tsk to the tsk-th power.

    1. You can’t expect a journalist to know the subjunctive tense, dude.

    2. We need a new mood for claims that get taken seriously even though everyone knows they aren’t true. That’s what they used here, and third person present tense for “to be” in that mood is “was”.

      1. “That’s what they used here, and third person present tense for ‘to be’ in that mood is ‘was’.”

        ??? We “need” this new mood, so it doesn’t yet exist, correct? So if they wanted to use that mood, then who would decide which third person present-tense form of “to be” to use? Them? Johnl? Me? Shakespeare?

        As far as I know, such a mood does not yet exist, so saying that “was” “is” the proper tense would be presumptuous. I’m sticking with “were.” 😉

        And Episiarch, I don’t even expect journalists to know English. But I expect their EDITORS to be good with English spelling and grammar. Even I am not the grammar state-capitalist that Wouldy Wouldpecker so ably mocks. But getting a subjunctive-indicative situation wrong is something that I expect to see done in high-school newspapers or my hometown daily, not a long-established, major daily newspaper in one of the world’s great cities, which asks good money from readers, and pays good money to editors. That’s the point I am trying to make. If I want mistakes like that, I can get them much less expensively and closer to home. But I must confess that criticizing the Post for this is not nearly as satisfying as it would be, were the NY Times the culprit. The Post has often shown a sense of humor about itself, which takes a lot of the Sunday fun out of needling it for its casual acquaintance with grammar.

        1. Why should we even grant advanced degrees in English if we didn’t expect the holders to invent new features of the language?

    3. Would that it were true.

      O, that it were true.


      Were it but true.


      1. If but were but and and and were but but but and and would be and and but.

  7. If you cut me, do I not bleed?

    1. You can be the negro in this scenario, and I’ll be the Klan rider.

      1. I’ll be the virgin white girl that succumbs to the temptation of sleeping with a colored boy and grows a liking to the length, width, and rigidity of a colored man’s erect cock.

        The experience will be an enlightening one, as I realize the joy of carnal pleasures. I’ll dress immodestly, drink regularly, and go out dancing until the early morning hours.

        The town-folk will start rumorin’. The town’s ministers will pay me visits, imploring me to get right with God. My daddy will beat me senseless and threaten to kill me if I ever hang around with that “boy” ever again.

        …Metaphorically, of course…for the purposes of this thread.

        1. But enough about my life.

          1. Funny, I thought he was talking about me.

        2. I never metaphor I didn’t like.

          The Federal Government is the “boy”‘s pack of Kools.

  8. Has anybody been watching the absolute meltdown happening at CNN.com?

    Dear god, August 2 can’t come soon enough!

    1. Haven’t really been checking out CNN, but I just got done checking out the Enemy’s Camp over at Slate. They’re cooking up some bizarro shit over there. Like the ‘$5 trillion dollar coin’ because Geithner’s only limited by law in bullshit paper money, but bullshit coins are ‘unlimited.’

      Everyone over there talks about the Nuclear 14th Amendment option, knowing courts will kill it, but willing to start a constitutional crisis just to subsidize GE one more fucking windmill or whatever. The funny part there is they just assume the suckers line up for that bond auction as always, they don’t even consider the buyers of the debt, they just assume. What a bunch of morons.

      Another one was just to let the Treasury essentially run a huge overdraft down at the Federal Reserve. Bernanke will let it slide for…well, forever probably knowing his style. That the transaction there is just borrowing money using a future loan as collateral – the total stupidity of that premise (and why writing bad checks is illegal) never crosses their collective mind.

      In a way, I hope Uncle Stupid tries the 14th Amendment shtick, throws a bond auction, and nobody shows up.

      1. TZ,

        Haven’t you figured out yet that when you break the law, it’s illegal and you must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of said law?

        But when the philosopher-kings break the law, like running a Ponzi scheme (Social Security), or kiting checks (Treasury Bond auctions and the Federal Reserve), it’s called showing leadership and responsibility.

        1. You fuckers keep electing us, so there!

        2. I’m thinking of taping ‘Federal Reserve’ over the Hewlett Packard logo on my crappy inkjet here and seeing if anyone notices…I’ll be rich!

      2. Geithner’s only limited by law in bullshit paper money, but bullshit coins are ‘unlimited.’

        I would buy a hundred dollar coin for 57 dollars.

      1. Yes, the federal debt has grown by nearly $3 trillion dollars in the past three years. And yes, the dollar amount of that debt is quite large (in excess of $14 trillion and headed toward $15 trillion should the ceiling be raised). But large numbers are not the problem. The U.S. has a large economy (slightly larger than that debt number). And, crucially, we have very low interest rates.

        That pretty much gives away the game right there.

        1. I read that article. And Dr. Stupid who wrote it misses a point in his endless comparisons on monthly-minimums.

          But who is driving down interest rates on bonds? ‘Investors?’ Hmmm….

          Biggest buyer of Treasuries isn’t China, its the Fed. I don’t think the Fed drives a hard bargain or looks for excellent returns from its buddies down the street in the Treasury. Matter of fact, QEII was a convoluted $600 billion dollar loan to the Treasury with ‘money’ fresh off the Xerox. Don’t think that happened under Reagan, or Clinton, or either Bush, or in the seventies.

          I would be curious to see what the actual interest for Treasuries would be if actual investors (not a zombie Xerox in a basement) were the ones actually buying these securities.

          1. I would be curious to see what the actual interest for Treasuries would be if actual investors (not a zombie Xerox in a basement) were the ones actually buying these securities.

            I assure you, you would be shocked.

            Seriously, that’s classified.

            1. Damn straight it is.

  9. Something smells heavily of diarrhea and vinegar in this thread…

    1. Your mom?

  10. these words have flooded my world

  11. there words have flooded my world!

  12. I haven’t read the book, but i think i should have a try.

  13. Should be quite interesting to see how that all works out.


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