The Border Between Anti-Elitism And Idiocy

Posted by | August 1, 2010 20:07 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Steve Benen has it right about House Minority Leader John Boehner and his appearance with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday:

When Wallace pressed Boehner on how he’d pay for trillions of dollars in tax cuts, the would-be Speaker eventually concluded, “This is the whole Washington mindset, all these CBO numbers.”

I don’t even know what this means. “All these CBO numbers”? Boehner loves those CBO numbers, when they’re telling him what he wants to hear. But when tax cuts for billionaires are on the line, suddenly objective, independent budget data is deemed useless.

There’s just no seriousness here. Boehner comes to the debate with all the sophistication of a drunk guy yelling at the TV from the end of a bar.

Boehner also said, ” Well, I don’t need to see GDP numbers or to listen to economists; all I need to do is listen to the American people.”

I am a self-identified member of the elite.  I spend most of my time with other such elites.   I understand why people don’t like us.  We don’t have great social skills.  We tend to say things like “What’s The Matter With Kansas?”  We like to pretend we are experts on areas we are not experts on.

But when economic questions come up, decision makers should ASK ECONOMISTS!!!  When scientific questions come up, decision makers should ASK SCIENTISTS!!  When there is a  question on health policy, ASK SOMEONE WHO HAS STUDIED HEALTH POLICY!! There is a reason they are called “experts.”  You don’t have to like us, but for heaven’s sakes, listen to and consider what we have to say.

OK, end of rant, I am going to go and sip some red wine and think of some witty things to say tomorrow.

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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