"As Ronald Reagan's Own Budget Director Said..."

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 13 2011 3:37 PM

"As Ronald Reagan's Own Budget Director Said..."

Congratulations, David Stockman! You're the new Mark Zandi. For months, Democrats would cite the work of Zandi, an economist at Moody's, as bipartisan, analytic evidence that their spending plans made sense. Zandi (a Democrat) had been an adviser to John McCain; presto, there was across-the-board agreement that spending cuts made no sense.

And then Republicans got the Democrats to agree to spending cuts, and mocked every reference to Zandi on the grounds that he'd supported the stimulus bill. We have a new bipartisan here today: David Stockman, the first director of Ronald Reagan's OMB. In his speech, Obama referred to "Ronald Reagan's own budget director" to make the case that the Ryan budget was unserious on taxes. He made that case to Brian Beutler :

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"It doesn't address in any serious or courageous way the issue of the near and medium-term deficit," David Stockman told me in a Thursday phone interview. "I think the biggest problem is revenues. It is simply unrealistic to say that raising revenue isn't part of the solution. It's a measure of how far off the deep end Republicans have gone with this religious catechism about taxes."

I wish Stockman well. I think he's right. I also know that no Republican will listen to him, because ever since William Greider got Stockman on the record calling the Reagan tax cuts a "trojan horse" for trickle-down, he's been basically written out of the movement.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.