The national political discourse almost always teeters on the brink of absurdity. Mama Grizzlies...death panels...birthers...the victory mosque...the bailout stimulus. It all reminds me of the old TV show Green Acres, with lead character Oliver trying to function in a world where everyone around him is seemingly insane. (At least on the show part of the humor is that the bumpkins were smarter than they made out to be. In American political circles today? Not so much.)
Two recent stories caught my attention. First, the Fiscal Times noted that economists generally agree that the Bush tax cuts had no beneficial effect on the US economy. Of course, Republican members of Congress are trying right now to extend those cuts, which will only increase the deficit they claim to worry so much about. Second, a New Yorker column notes that most economists believe that the Obama stimulus package had several positive, though not exceptional, impacts on the national economy:
The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensityAlas, what are we to do? Well, there's Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity." In our distorted national dialogue, it takes a comedian to give us the straight truth.