I don’t understand why anyone writes mainstream political commentary or why anyone reads mainstream political commentary.
Here is a nearly perfect example from Matthew Yglesias. His comment is that Obama and his "economic team" wants to have a debate on the long-term budget, but Republicans won’t debate them.
This post is one lie piled on top of other lies.
In Washington, there is no such thing as a debate on a subject like the budget among elected officials. By the time a budget proposal gets to Congress for voting, no more significant policy changes are likely. Congressional "debate" is really a show-debate at best and is masturbation for the politically-inclined intellectual at worse.
The "President’s" long-term budget proposal (which was probably written by some kid a year or two out of college) is an enormous lie. It assumes growth rates that couldn’t be achieved even under Communist accounting methodologies (i.e. making up numbers). There is no way to "debate" such a proposal.
Even if by some miracle responsible parties on both sides actually developed and presented honest budgets (the mind boggles at this impossibility, since honest budget proposals would demonstrate that the US was completely insolvent), members of Congress and the President would be totally incapable of having a debate on the issues associated with the budget proposals since they don’t understand the issues associated with the budget.
Members of Congress are chosen for their ability to raise money and make idiots feel good about themselves. They are not chosen for their deep and penetrating knowledge of accounting and finance.