May 18, 2012 - 12:41pm ET
Yesterday I posted (twice!) a Think Progress chart proving that the government under president Obama had pursued austerity policies. It was done to refute Mitt Romney's outright lie that the president had spent the country into oblivion, but some of us wondered why the Democrats would think it was such a good thing in any case. Dday asked the fellow who made the chart for CAP: I think he may have missed the point. When the president and his supporters send out a chart like that lauding their success at cutting spending and taxes, they are telling people that it's their preferred policy too. But they've done this from the beginning, going all the way back to the transition when the president was giving the entire village a woodie with his Grand Bargain vision. The health care bill was sold as primarily a money saver (although nobody believed it...) They have oftentouted their tax cuts as huge accomplishments. president Obama himself promised to cut the deficit in half in his first term (a first term virtually defined by an epic economic downturn.) It's quite easy to see why people would assume that they truly are proud of their record of spending cuts and tax cuts and think that a soft austerity was a pretty good idea. Dday winds up with this: Someday, someone is going to make the case to the American people for policies that will work instead of operating entirely on the basis of conservative myths. I'm not sure when that will be but keep your eye on Europe over the next few months to see what happens when austerity finally bites so hard that the people get fed up.