We’re Going to Tax Their Ass Off!

by Corey Robin on August 30, 2012

This past Sunday, I appeared on Up With Chris Hayes, where I spoke briefly about the rise of austerity politics in the Democratic Party (begin video at 2:13). My comments were sparked by Bruce Bartlett’s terrific piece “‘Starve the Beast’: Origins and Development of a Budgetary Metaphor” in the Summer 2007 issue of The Independent Review. Barlett is a longtime observer of the Republican Party, from without and within. He was a staffer for Ron Paul and Jack Kemp, as well as a policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and a Treasury official under George HW Bush.  Now he’s a critic of the GOP, writing sharp commentary at the New York Times and the Financial Times. He and I have argued about conservatism before. When it comes to fiscal policy, however, he’s one of the savviest analysts of the GOP out there. What follows is an extended summary/riff on Bartlett’s piece and what I said on Hayes’s show: to understand how austerity works in (and for) the Democratic Party, you have to understand how it once worked for the Republicans. Long story short: not so well.

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Welcome Corey Robin!

by Chris Bertram on August 30, 2012

We’re very pleased to announced that Corey Robin is joining the crew at Crooked Timber. I suspect that Corey is already well-known to many of our regular readers through his books such as _Fear: The History of a Political Idea_ (2004) and recently _The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin_ , and through his writings on his own site and at places like Jacobin and the LRB. Corey also has an activist past, through his involvement with the TA union at Yale and led the grad strike of 1995, which helped put the whole issue of casual academic labor on the national map. In professional life, Corey is a political theorist at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Centre. Welcome Corey!