The debt ceiling and its huge ideological chasm

With our continuing coverage of the debt ceiling debate, I’m struck by how convinced each side seems to be that its economic conclusions should be obvious to everyone else.  One side states that the other is carrying water for special interests, instead of recognizing that true belief runs deep.

Monday morning on AirTalk, we spoke with liberal economist Robert Reich.  He argued that the pending deal includes no stimulus spending, therefore sentencing our economy to the continuing doldrums.  Reich also passionately argued that the current tax system is unfair, penalizing middle-class Americans and rewarding those who could afford to pay more.  In Reich’s reality, government stimulus and additional revenue create jobs.

Next up was Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, the group that signed up many Republicans to its “no new taxes” pledge.  He claimed that increasing government revenue takes money out of the economy and costs large numbers of jobs.  In Norquist’s reality, lower taxes and decreased government spending are the only true stimuli. 

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