The editorial takes the view that the current preoccupation with federal budget deficits is largely a reflection of "politics as usual" in the United States, with policy pronouncements designed and intended to facilitate the transfer of wealth upwards to the rich. The argument aside (and I largely concur with what's said in this editorial), what I loved most was a little descriptive phrase tucked within the argument: "Pundit Hawks."
Our impoverished political life is made even poorer when everyone has to take "seriously" the opinions of a bunch of newspaper columnists and television personalities who have very little reason to claim any more knowledge or insight than any ordinary person. It was these "pundit hawks," however, who helped spearhead the clamor for a war in Iraq, a war that
The American Revolution rejected the idea that there is a "nobility" whose interests are entitled to more deference than the interests of the rest of us. This is true in the realm of "opinion," too! We need to fortify ourselves against the feeling that our "opinion leaders" have any special insight, and that when they suggest something that makes no real sense, they may not actually know any more than we do.
"might have been prevented had more Congressional Democrats stood up to oppose it. Instead, many of those who privately knew the entire enterprise was a colossal disaster in the making buckled to right-wing pressure and pundit hawks and voted for it."
Our stampede into the war in Iraq has helped create the deficit that is now leading the very same "pundit hawks" who supported that war to demand that the government cut back help and support for ordinary folks.