Friday, August 8, 2008

Stupidest Idea of the Day

If Barack Obama gets elected President, the first thing he should do is hire [McCain adviser] Doug Holtz-Eakin to be his budget director.
That's from Howard Gleckman at TaxVox. It's true that in a previous life Holtz-Eakin was highly-respected and non-partisan. But those days are long past. He sold his soul for the chance at a West Wing office, and he's now out peddling lies about Obama's tax proposals and working for a campaign that's trying to convince voters that the Democratic nominee is, literally, the Antichrist.

This is the kind of idiotic bipartisan fetishism that could only come from a someone inside the Beltway: Obama should choose an unscrupulous Republican, who is ideologically opposed to everything he's campaigned on, to be his right hand man for deciding where the money goes. Hell, why settle for Holtz-Eakin? Cheney will be available!

He ominously raises the following as part of his argument:
Holtz-Eakin would enjoy fiscal credibility in the financial markets. The bond vigilantes have not cared about deficits for years, but they tend to get interested when Democrats run the government. Just ask Bill Clinton. Today, they see Obama as little more than a big-government liberal with a good speech. This might show them he is more complex than that.
Gleckman is a former reporter for Business Week, and no doubt still runs in financial press circles. Funny how the press has almost never reported that the president should be worried about "credibility" with the bond markets while Bush was in the Oval Office. Funnier still how a prominent business reporter can imagine that Holtz-Eakin--who is pimping what must be the least credible set of tax and budget proposals ever offered in a presidential campaign--would bring said credibility.

I'm sure that in the first days of the Obama presidency, we'll be hearing a lot of tut-tutting from Gleckman and friends about how Obama needs to toss his spending plans out the window and focus on bringing deficit in order to satisfy the bond markets. No doubt Holtz-Eakin's voice will join that chorus, thankfully from somewhere far away from the West Wing.

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