I’ve been trying very hard to understand President Obama’s reason why progressives should support his push for a truly big austerity package that contains both Medicare and Social Security benefits cuts, but as far as I can tell it is just illogical gibberish. His reasoning he gave in the press conference was:

And so that’s where I’d have a selling job, Chuck [Todd], is trying to sell some of our party that if you are a progressive, you should be concerned about debt and deficit just as much as if you’re a conservative.   And the reason is because if the only thing we’re talking about over the next year, two years, five years, is debt and deficits, then it’s very hard to start talking about how do we make investments in community colleges so that our kids are trained, how do we actually rebuild $2 trillion worth of crumbling infrastructure.

If you care about making investments in our kids and making investments in our infrastructure and making investments in basic research, then you should want our fiscal house in order, so that every time we propose a new initiative somebody doesn’t just throw up their hands and say, “Ah, more big spending, more government.”

It would be very helpful for us to be able to say to the American people, our fiscal house is in order.  And so now the question is what should we be doing to win the future and make ourselves more competitive and create more jobs, and what aspects of what government is doing are a waste and we should eliminate.  And that’s the kind of debate that I’d like to have.

As far as I can tell Obama is saying that progressives should join with the Republicans in publicly stating that too much government spending, instead too little tax revenue, is a really serious problem. He is saying progressives should agree that high government spending is a huge problem even during bad economic time when regular people need extra help and should still be a top priority even when the bond markets is allowing the government to borrow at extremely low rates.

And according to Obama, once progressives admit what a huge problem too much government spending at all times, somehow that will make it easier for progressives to convince Americans they should support new government spending on new programs.

In all honesty is there something I missing? Because that sounds like some comically bad logic to me.

Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com