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My post yesterday defending tea-partiers hinged on the idea that their energy and enthusiasm could lead to productive policy improvements, if provided with serious ideas.  As if on cue, economist Brad DeLong has a serious proposal for balancing the budget.  His plan, which he calls “the platform for the bipartisan technocrats of the center”, restrictions on government spending, a relatively small (I think) carbon tax, and a small move towards privatization of social security.

A few technocrats of the center chime in, praising the plan, but calling it politically unviable, as if unaware that a large mobilization of voters is suddenly interested in balancing the budget.  My suggestion is simple: keep the plan intact, but change its name to “the platform for the tea-partiers”.  It’s worth a shot.



  1. A couple of related links:

    “The Tragedy of the Technocrats.”

    The Fiscal Commission’s recommendations, which nobody seems to like. My favorite part is the “draft” on the document:

  2. Interesting to see the reactions to the Fiscal Commission. Many are upset that their least favorite programs aren’t getting cut. Others are saying that it doesn’t cut enough Medicare:

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] a popular policy?  Instead of harping on the tea parties, or ignoring them, thinkers should throw them good policy ideas. « Cost-Benefit Run Amok LikeBe the first to like this […]

  2. […] will believe X.  This theory is viable, but as someone who’s done my own speculating about tea partiers, I’m pretty skeptical.  I tend to view tea partiers as some combination of […]

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