Krystal Ball’s rant this week from MSNBC’s “The Cycle”:
Just listen to that good old-fashioned common sense. You know, really breaks our government problems down for the common man in that classically patronizing yet wholly inaccurate way that politicians seem to excel at. There are a lot of lame talking points out there, but this one probably drives me the most nuts. And while I mostly hear it from Republicans, far too many of my own have fallen for its folksy kitchen table appeal. Here’s the problem.
First off, how much like the federal government is your household really? Granted, things may be a bit different in your home than mine but we haven’t had a whole lot a luck getting anyone to accept our family currency. And the international markets? They’ve turned their nose up at buying our bonds. When we have borrowed money, it sure wasn’t at 1.5% like US Treasuries. I will say, sometimes our neighbors do get a bit out of hand but I think a drone strike might be a bit over the top. In fairness, my daughter did attempt a Mitch McConnell style filibuster but it didn’t really work out for her.
And actually, even if you did pretend that your household worked exactly like the largest most complex government in the world, the analogy still doesn’t make any sense! You may not have noticed but our families buy things on credit all the time. Especially at this time of year. Plenty of families take on long term debt for things like, I don’t know, a house? Or an education? In other words, investments for the future. Hey! That does actually sound like something the federal government should do. Businesses borrow too! So don’t give me this nonsense about how for families and business owners the revenues and expenses have to add up every year. They don’t. My family and many others have yet to pass a balanced budget amendment.
Finally, come on y’all. Have a little bit of creativity!!! I know you’re trying to break things down in a way that regular folk can relate to, I get it. But every time I hear a politician or pundit use this tired hokey worn-out analogy it’s like they think they’re the one who birthed this brilliant thing. Certainly everyone will be won over by their winning wit and creativity. Guys. The gig’s up. We’ve heard this patronizing, illogical, trope about 1 million times. I’m begging you. Please stop. Time to come up with some new material. Or better yet, actually have enough respect and faith in the American people that we can wrap our little minds around the big problems facing the country. Trust me. If y’all can understand it, we can too.