Showing posts with label Tom Latham. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tom Latham. Show all posts

The ice age arrives in the infernal regions


The slogan of the Des Moines Register is "Iowa's Best-Read Newspaper." Iowa conservatives refer to it tongue-in-cheek as "Iowa's Best Red Newspaper." Suffice it to say that the Register's editorial policy is slightly to the Left of Thomas Müntzer.

So when the Register endorses Congressman Tom Latham, the Republican candidate in our redrawn Third District, over Democratic Congressman Leonard Boswell, it's a good sign that old Leonard had perhaps better be considering his retirement plans.

For which, huzzah!

Just plain silly


A new USA Today-Washington Post poll shows that Americans believe by a 2-to-1 margin that the deal to raise the debt ceiling will make the economy worse rather than better.

Apparently they think that default, the downgrading of our national credit rating, the resulting increase in the deficit and the inevitable plunge back into recession would be preferable to... I don't know. It's not clear exactly what bad things are anticipated here.

But wait. Perhaps the article linked to above has the explanation:

The dyspeptic view may reflect less an assessment of the plan's particulars than dismay at the edge-of-a-cliff negotiations to reach it.

"Most people assume that whatever came out of this horrible process was pretty crappy," says Joseph White, a political scientist at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland who studies budget policy.

Perhaps. But it's harder to understand the reaction of folks who ought to know better.

Incredibly, the entire Iowa delegation to Congress voted against the deal- voted, in effect, for default and a renewed recession. Sen. Grassley opposed the deal because of the potential for tax increases- which , Earth-dwellers know, are going to be necessary to balance the budget at some point. Sen. Harkin voted against it because he somehow felt that it would be disasterous for the economy.

And default and a renewed recession would have been better?

Professor White says- and doubtless he is right- that "most people assume that whatever came out of this horrible process was pretty crappy." But whatever rational moved each of our clueless Iowa congressional delegation, the result of defeating the last-minute deal would have been far crappier by far for all of us.

Congressmen Boswell and Latham, who will be running against each other in my district next year due to redistricting, have a great deal of explaining to do before I'll buy the notion that either of them has all their marbles, and a great deal more before I'm convinced that either of them deserves my vote. This budget deal may not be the greatest in the world for all sorts of reasons. Liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, all can find plenty about it not to like.

But there is no rational argument that, given the real-world choices Congress faced when it voted on the deal, defeating it would have been infinitely worse for everybody.