From the standpoint of column-writing, it’s helpful for politicians to take absurd positions. Like if some people were saying “let’s cut the deficit right away” and other people were saying “let’s forget about the deficit forever” then the wise columnist can parachute in and say “what we really need is to do stimulus now, paired with long-term deficit reduction.” So wise! So centrist! And given how convenient that debate would be for columnists, I’ve seen a lot simply pretending that it’s happening and musing about the need for a third party. But as the CBO score of the latest version of the American Jobs Act shows (PDF) it’s just not the case — the Act being pushed uniformly by Democrats and opposed uniformly by Republicans meets that centrist criteria.
It reduced the deficit in the long-run by about $5.8 billion even while giving the economy some much needed short-term tax cuts and spending.