Wednesday, August 05, 2009

When Economists Say Things That Hurt

I was on the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal on another errand (perhaps more later) and saw that Arthur Laffer - beloved by Republicans of a by-gone era for his curve demonstrating . . . something that isn't really true - had a piece there, I wondered. I know that our op-ed pieces are full of nonsense. The Washington Post's is a veritable sewer of nonsense these days, dragging the last dregs of whatever passed for credibility down the drain. But Laffer?

You see, in a recent TV interview, Laffer said the following (it's been on any number of sites; this link is picked at random):
If you like the Post Office and the Department of Motor Vehicles and you think they’re run well, just wait till you see Medicare, Medicaid and health care done by the government.

Like most everyone else, I've been in situations where I've said things I wish I hadn't. My mouth is open, the last bit of air is escaping, and yet I devoutly wish the sounds I had just made could be silenced forever. Fortunately for me, that has never occurred on television.

Medicare and Medicaid are government programs. The VA - government-run health care. I will assume out of good faith (and no other evidence whatsoever) that no host corrected him on the spot because they were completely gobsmacked, sitting their, jaws agape, thinking, "Nah, he didn't just say that did he?" Like indulging the crazy uncle at the family reunion who always brings up his prostate surgery, inviting all and sundry to see his scar, you want to smile politely and move on, hoping no one will notice.

Fortunately, the video exists, and will exist, forever.

Virtual Tin Cup

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More