WILL ROUNDS UP THE USUAL SUSPECT
George Will today on the financial meltdown:
...a timeless political trope is: Government should budget the way households supposedly do, conforming outlays to income. But the crisis came partly because so many households decided that it would be jolly fun to budget the way government does, hitching outlays to appetites.
That's a load of crap. The crisis came because so many households decided that it would be jolly fun to budget the way rich people do, as if we could afford whatever we wanted -- and financial institutions decided it was fiscally prudent to let us, more or less.
Ever since the days of one of Will's principal objects of worship, Ronald Reagan, we've been told to model ourselves on the lifestyles of the rich and famous, and anyone who didn't find the lives of the rich enchanting -- in fact, anyone who questioned the notion that those who'd amassed great wealth set a moral example for all of us -- was deemed a sixties-throwback hippie and commie. The most persistently admired person of the Reagan and post-Reagan era has probably been Donald Trump, a man who's noteworthy for nothing but wealth, and the esteem in which he's held has persisted even through his multiple bankruptcy filings. But even when he's broke, life looks pretty sweet for him. So we thought: Why shouldn't we live as much like that as we can?
Nobody in America wants to grow up to be Harry Reid. All kinds of people want to grow up to be Donald Trump. That's your Saint Ronnie's doing, George.