Bruce Bartlett Struggles in Vain Against Stupidity


Bruce Bartlett is, I assure you, a bona fide right-winger who believes in low taxes and lax regulation. But he’s not out of touch with reality, which is how he came to write this column arguing that some New Deal policies impeded recovery, but as far as deficit spending goes the problem was that deficits were too small not that he spent too much.


This prompted Jim Powell to offer a non-responsive Corner post arguing that some New Deal policies were bad. To which Bartlett essentially replied that’s what I said the first time but still, New Deal deficits should have been bigger. Jonah Goldberg then also didn’t respond to Bartlett’s point but did say, contra congressional conservatives, that stimulus was necessary a position he describes as “sort of in-between” the Bartlett and Powell views. Then he follows-up by assuring us that Republicans were right to vote “no” on the stimulus and “it was very nice to see them man-up.”