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Like Howard Beale from the 1976 movie, "Network," I’m not going to take it anymore. I’ve been a voter for over 60 years, and in the recent election I voted for every tax increase on the ballot. I reject the notion (popular among political reactionaries), that we will march into a glorious future on the wings of tax cuts and shrinking the public sector whenever possible. Aside from the lack of theoretical support for this view, the empirical evidence is beyond life-support. Neither the Great Depression or the Great Recession responded well to fiscal and monetary austerity. The federal budget has a role to play in stabilizing economic growth patterns. This role has been recognized for at least 80 years and there is a rich macroeconomic literature that has developed around this role.

Don’t get me started on climate change — analyzing empirical data and applying scientific principles are involved — but most of the opposition by deniers is ideological.

The current administration is the least informed by history and science than any in my memory, and my long-term memory is good. I just have trouble finding my glasses. Unlike Howard, I don’t blame the politicians. We voted for them. We are not victims, we are enablers.

Ed Phillips


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