Hot tip from Ezra Klein’s new site: Stop freaking out about the national debt

posted at 4:41 pm on March 26, 2014 by Allahpundit

Take it away, Mark Hemingway.

Of all the current affairs they could be usefully Voxplaining to the BuzzFeed generation right now — a primer on Crimean geopolitics or Venezuela post-Chavez, a quickie take on what the Fed’s “taper” could mean to the average paycheck, etc — it’s revealing that they put out a sort of Krugman-for-kindergarteners video like this. Also revealing is how self-contained it is: There’s no hint of counterarguments, like, say, what growing interest payments on ballooning debt will do to a federal budget that’s already slowly being cannibalized by Medicare, nor is there even a hint that the issue might be more complex than this. That’s smart rhetorically, especially given the time constraints, but … complicates, shall we say, the site’s pretensions to explanation. What sort of “explanatory journalism” launches by encouraging its readers not to spend too much time thinking about a particular subject, especially one this politically salient?

But never mind all that. I warned you a few weeks ago that you shouldn’t underestimate the reach of a site that’s targeting people who would need an “explainer” as simple as this one. Lemme quote, er, myself:

My sense of it after watching the [introductory] vid is that it’s basically going to be Wonkblog but with more background in each piece and probably lots more charts and graphics… It’ll be as reliably liberal as ever but it’ll be presented as straightforward exposition; as lefties love to tell themselves, it’s reality that has a liberal bias, not them. (Actual quote from the site: “Our end goal isn’t telling you what just happened, or how we feel about what just happened, it’s making sure you understand what just happened.” Uh huh.)…

Someone who enjoys a BuzzFeed post with 37 GIFs in it might not sit still for a long Nate Silver data-crunch but they might be willing to devote three minutes to Ezra patiently leading them through an easily digestible Q&A annotated with simple graphs. If you want to bring people around to your side politically, you should aim for the low-information readers; they’re the natural target for “explanatory journalism.”

That’s almost exactly what this is, no? The only thing that’s different is that it’s Matt who’s narrating, not Ezra, and they’re not using “lots” of graphics, they’re using nothing but graphics. This is aimed squarely at the low-information voter with a short attention span, whose views on the debt are sufficiently primitive that they might theoretically be affected by a two-minute cartoon. It won’t change your mind, but so what? Your vote isn’t the one that decides elections. Between the “shiny object” appeal and Klein’s brand as a capital-w Wonk, there are surely many casually political readers who’ll come to the site and trust it. Maybe not enough to justify a multimillion-dollar investment, but if you’re a filthy rich liberal looking to buy influence online, I can imagine worse ways to spend your money.


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Wow, there just aren’t words to describe how evil that video from Vox is.

oscarwilde on March 26, 2014 at 4:44 PM

What, me worry? Unicorns flying, pooping skittles, and welfare checks for everybody!!!

It’ll be a wonderful life just as soon as y’all learn to love Big Brother (not the TV show). Plus, you get to avoid the rats on your face.

platypus on March 26, 2014 at 4:45 PM

“The U.S. government can never run out of dollars.”

Neither can Zimbabwe, nor did Weimar Germany.

sharrukin on March 26, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Krugman-for-kindergarteners

Wow, advanced Kruganomics. Usually Krugman is for preschoolers.

Flange on March 26, 2014 at 4:47 PM

He’s right, the US can never run out of dollars…but the world can run out of desire to accept them.

RblDiver on March 26, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Ezra is criminally stupid. Technically, Zimbabwe didn’t run out of currency … how’s that working?

Whitey Ford on March 26, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Someone ask the ignorant lib if we can just go on printing money, then why ever collect taxes?

Just keep printin’ baby!

rightside on March 26, 2014 at 4:52 PM

First words out of his mouth are a lie. The debt isn’t $12T, its $17T. Yes, you have to count the inter-agency debt because the only way that gets paid is with dollars since the “debt” eventually takes form as payments to those outside the government. And inflation isn’t the only concern- there’s currency destruction, investment distortions, etc. A completely sophomoric and very misleading presentation.

Scotsman on March 26, 2014 at 4:53 PM

The only thing missing from the video is a pop up ad stating the following message brought to you by Brawndo!

HumpBot Salvation on March 26, 2014 at 4:54 PM

After not being able to afford energy to heat our homes, we’ll have to burn those dollars, since they’ll be worthless.

rightside on March 26, 2014 at 4:54 PM

O M G

P Opus on March 26, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Debt just isn’t a problem right now?

OMG, where to start?

LancerDL on March 26, 2014 at 4:55 PM

I just went online to order 200 wheelbarrows. For those who may need one (or two) they will be ‘on sale’ for a mere 2 million Obamabucks. I can be reached at http://www.yer screwed.cum…

vnvet on March 26, 2014 at 4:56 PM

If conservatives did something like this, we’d never hear the end of how trite and nonsensical it was, belittling of the presumed intelligence of the viewers, how it was clearly nothing but propaganda, etc. Not to mention the preening pretentiousness of the abject morons responsible for putting together. Yglesias? *Really*? Holy shit.

Demoralizing – how does ‘reality’ counter this kind of thing?

Midas on March 26, 2014 at 4:59 PM

First words out of his mouth are a lie.

Scotsman on March 26, 2014 at 4:53 PM

First, last, and every word, breath, and pause in-between.

Midas on March 26, 2014 at 5:00 PM

I wish HotAir still did original videos.

Surprised this site never found a video blogger to take over for Malkin’s “Vent” series.

bluegill on March 26, 2014 at 5:01 PM

“The U.S. government can never run out of dollars.”

but those dollars can be worthless.

dmacleo on March 26, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Debt just isn’t a problem right now?

OMG, where to start?

LancerDL on March 26, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Always wait till a problem is a crisis before it gets addressed…it’s our new governmental mantra.

Deafdog on March 26, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Someone ask the ignorant lib if we can just go on printing money, then why ever collect taxes?

Just keep printin’ baby!

rightside on March 26, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Because that would effectively tax Soros, Buffet, Zuckerberg, Gates, Steyer et al. What they want is to destroy the middle class, leaving an elites and serfs system.

I know, I know, rhetorical question.

Fenris on March 26, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Every November the GAO issues an audit of the Treasury debt. In it there is a very interesting and scary number under the “debt held by the public” section. As of the end of fiscal year 2013 there is ^.72 trillion dollars of bills,notes and bonds maturing. We’ve been financing all these deficits with short term maturities and rolling them over. i.e. in 2012 we issued over 400 billion in 2 year notes which come due this year and which we’ll just roll-over. This number only increases . It was pretty small in 2007.And this is what will bite us in the ass one day my friends. And of course as was pointed out is why interest payments will one day balloon.

galtg on March 26, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Sorry for my poor typing..my previous commnet should read 6.72 trillion of debt maturing

galtg on March 26, 2014 at 5:04 PM

The “Burt Bucks” episode of the Fox TV sitcom, “Raising Hope” was more informative than that video.

Reno_Dave on March 26, 2014 at 5:05 PM

The US dollar debt won’t matter after the system collapses and the new fascist utopia rises from the ashes with its new Obama dollars or whatever the deuce they will call them.

tdarrington on March 26, 2014 at 5:07 PM

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times…I have no fear whatsoever that the next generation of kids behind me will be able to take my job. And the fact that they buy into crap like this makes me feel even more confident in my statement.

In fact my bosses may look at them and decide to give me a pay raise so I don’t leave and force them to hire one of them!

nextgen_repub on March 26, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Is the video a cartoon? Should be.

Dack Thrombosis on March 26, 2014 at 5:09 PM

The problem is this is a common thought amongst the left in the media. Eleanor “Rodham” Clift was on the MacLaughlin Group a few years ago and said spending wasn’t an issue because the US can always print money. I imagine Democrat politicians and their supporters feel likewise.

Mark my words, the day this economy collapses thanks to all the debt we’ve accumulated, these moronic a-holes will be the first ones to attempt to flee the country and escape the damage they caused.

Doughboy on March 26, 2014 at 5:10 PM

I haven’t paid any attention to this. I take it that the name refers to “vox populi,” and they thought the “populi” might confuse the plebs?

evergreen on March 26, 2014 at 5:11 PM

OT: holy crap. House doc fix bill would push ICD 10 implementation back a year. If you are involved in the medical world this is a big deal (although expected by some) if it passes. Vote tomorrow.

WitchDoctor on March 26, 2014 at 5:11 PM

A currency not backed by wealth as the USD is currently not must inevitably collapse. It is only a matter of time.

gryphon202 on March 26, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Everybody sing…

Everything is awesooooooome!
Everything is cool when you’re part of a team!
Everything is awesooooooome, when we’re living our dream!

[Parents of young kids should understand this]

TheLoudTalker on March 26, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Holy sh*t.

That actually took my breath away.

It should have ended with the Mad Magazine “what me worry?” guy.

tru2tx on March 26, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Yeah, a trillion here…a trillion there..pretty soon,
you’re talking about real money, isn’t that right Ezra??

What an Effing idiot.

ToddPA on March 26, 2014 at 5:17 PM

Wow! I’m going to miss buying GE products for supporting this crap.

But, as Allah points out, posters at HA aren’t the target demographic. We don’t need ” ‘splainers ” to reach an opinion.

Happy Nomad on March 26, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Whew! Problem solved. I feel much better now.

SailorMark on March 26, 2014 at 5:18 PM

I challenge all those conservatives who once proclaimed Yglesias as “a liberal intellectual with whom we can have an honest conversation about policy” (I’m looking at YOU, NRO Short Pants Brigade) to watch this and tell me how smart and honest Matty is.

He’s as much of a lying leftist propagandist as any hired by Stalin, or even as Ezra Klein.

Adjoran on March 26, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Matt Yglesias? The idiot who has exposed himself as a complete moron on matters economic time and time again?

gwelf on March 26, 2014 at 5:19 PM

The good news: The government can always print money

The bad news: You’ll need 1 trillion dollars to buy a loaf of bread.

gwelf on March 26, 2014 at 5:19 PM

[Parents of young kids should understand this]

TheLoudTalker on March 26, 2014 at 5:14 PM

LIAR! People who have cublicles next to co-workers who have small children understand this too.

Happy Nomad on March 26, 2014 at 5:20 PM

What we really need is to mint a quintillion dollar coin.
Everything paid for forever.

gwelf on March 26, 2014 at 5:21 PM

So Ezra Klown has a website that will be viewed by our trolls on a daily basis … and maybe Pajama Boy.

Big whoop.

M240H on March 26, 2014 at 5:21 PM

The actual U.S. debt is over $70 trillion.

http://qz.com/111454/the-us-government-has-about-70-trillion-in-off-balance-sheet-liabilities/

Sheerq on March 26, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Neither can Zimbabwe, nor did Weimar Germany.

sharrukin on March 26, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Exactly.

Kaffa on March 26, 2014 at 5:23 PM

He is intentionally conflating the money supply expansion of the Fed with debt. Clever, but self-servingly flawed and dishonest.

It is true that monetary inflation is very low. Aside for demand by the government in the form of treasury bonds, there is little demand for money in the US economy. So, the Fed is not hurting the economy by printing money. But that is not debt! Our debt is the result of excessive borrowing and to repay that will require taxation.

What’s more, when and if we do see a demand for money outside of the government we will see a rise in interest rates. That will be devastating because our government can barely afford to service the interest on our debt at near zero lending rates. Even a small increase in the cost of borrowing $17.5 TRILLION will require huge tax hikes and service cuts.

MJBrutus on March 26, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Oh, and lefties, don’t buy any gold. You want to leave enough for China, and India.

SailorMark on March 26, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Not even the European social democracies liberals love so much believe this.

It’s only American progressives which promise free money for free programs. Only in America do the progressives pretend that social programs can be paid for by the rich instead of massive middle class taxation (like they do it in the old country).

It’s also darkly funny because the target audience is getting royally screwed by ObamaCare and the rest of the entitlement state but here comes good old Ezra trying to sugar coat it.

gwelf on March 26, 2014 at 5:26 PM

And don’t worry your little head about how the baby bust generations are going to pay for boomers social security or their medicare or subsidies for older sicker people on obamacare or interest on that burgoening debt that isn’t a problem or anything. Just use Soma or doublethink it or just get another video game and go play in mommy’s basement. Or if none of that works, just pretend the evil upper 1% will pay for it all. Sweet Dreams LIV.

KW64 on March 26, 2014 at 5:26 PM

“…inflation’s the lowest it’s been in 30 years.”

Bull-crap. Inflation is roughly the highest it’s ever been, if we’re talking price inflation. And you don’t have price inflation without monetary inflation. And we have an increase in monetary inflation to pay for additional government expenditures, such as Medicare Part D, stimulus, bailouts, farm bill and too many other things to mention. With Yellen, inflation is bound to go much higher, particularly as Obamacare goes forward. The inflation wrought on this country since 2003 is entirely the reason the economy has been stagnating with job losses and financial crises, and there’s no reason to believe that’s going to change. The Republicans have amply demonstrated they are no alternative to Democrats.

rickv404 on March 26, 2014 at 5:27 PM

How do you get as dumb as Ezra Klein?

Mimzey on March 26, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Who exactly decided a mental midget like Klein was a “policy wonk with a capital W?”

Capitalist Infidel on March 26, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Oh! And by the way my little ones, inflation only hurts those with savings that decline in value; so if you spend all your money as soon as you get it, you’ll be fine. Let those fools who save pay for everything through the shrinking value of their savings. Lucky you are not stupid like they are./s

KW64 on March 26, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Wow! This is great news! I think this concept obviates the need for the government to collect taxes! Why didn’t I think of that?

NOMOBO on March 26, 2014 at 5:32 PM

“The U.S. government can never run out of dollars.”

LOL. Sure, and the U.S. dollar will always be the world’s reserve currency. Until it isn’t.

AZCoyote on March 26, 2014 at 5:34 PM

Famous last words. When the chickens come home to roost, Klein will have to change his name.

flataffect on March 26, 2014 at 5:35 PM

Your best investment is still ammunition. Homeland Security is sure investing in a lot of it.

Kaffa on March 26, 2014 at 5:36 PM

That’s right just keep on printing money until you need a truck full to buy a loaf of bread. Stupid, stupid liberals.

rplat on March 26, 2014 at 5:38 PM

WitchDoctor on March 26, 2014 at 5:11 PM

A currency not backed by wealth as the USD is currently not must inevitably collapse. It is only a matter of time.

gryphon202 on March 26, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Not disagreeing….just hopefully adding to your comment.

Currency, in and of itself, has no value and is not directly backed by hard assets. The ”value” of a particular currency like the $USD is proportional to the faith the “folks” have in that currency. Our dollar has the advantage of being a reserve currency, thus we can consume more than we produce. Currency is just a way to efficiently barter and nothing more. Currency is not wealth, and other than being a means that we barter our labour with….it can be a means to measure wealth.

Many a country has had vast natural resources, but their currency was worthless. It is the “faith” in the currency that gives it value to be used as a means to barter labour. Sheesh….why listen to me as I ain’t got no education in this stuff.

HonestLib on March 26, 2014 at 5:39 PM

This is aimed squarely at the low-information voter with a short attention span


Excellent!
They are targeting a diminishing audience.

Let’s just tackle some of this tripe’s high points:

Inflation isn’t a problem – You have to be pretty high on the liberal Kool Aid AND living in D.C. to believe that nonsense. Otherwise, you’ve noticed your paycheck (or EBT card) is buying less for more money. Tell someone who’s still working out a payment plan for this winter’s energy bill inflation isn’t a PROBLEM – better yet, send Matty out on the street to tell people his story. ;->

Debt isn’t a problem – tell a Millenial with $ 50,000 in non-dischargeable student loans living at home with their parents DEBT isn’t a problem. Send Ezra to do the on the street interviews on this one.

The government will JUST print more money – Even one of my idiot liberal brothers got the message when I asked, “Why didn’t the Democrats just peg the debt celing to $ 25 trillion when they had control of everything if DEBT doesn’t matter?” but since then the light has begun to dawn on some of the Obama supporters that he truly couldn’t run a lemonade stand and but for the endless support of the Kneepad Media and the GOPe, he would already be impeached.

My experience has been when the suckers buyers have tuned out your message ISN”T the time to circle back around to the START of your sales pitch – which is EXACTLY what these two maroons have done.

PolAgnostic on March 26, 2014 at 5:42 PM

This debt stuff is easy for the Feds to fix.

They can just tell everybody to:

1) Get a box of crayons, and
2) Put as many 0s as you you can fit at the end of the currency you have.

For example, if you need $1,000, just add three zeros at the end of a one dollar bill.

Pretty simple, actually.

Ruckus_Tom on March 26, 2014 at 5:44 PM

“Presented by GE”

myiq2xu on March 26, 2014 at 5:45 PM

A good deal more enlightenment on this subject (as well as the probable behind-the-scenes motivation of our govt masters) is available in Bill Quick’s new Lightning Fall: A Novel of Disaster.

fatherspledge on March 26, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Inflation isn’t a problem – You have to be pretty high on the liberal Kool Aid AND living in D.C. to believe that nonsense. Otherwise, you’ve noticed your paycheck (or EBT card) is buying less for more money. Tell someone who’s still working out a payment plan for this winter’s energy bill inflation isn’t a PROBLEM – better yet, send Matty out on the street to tell people his story. ;->

Actually, I don’t think food or energy are calculated into the inflation equations, which tells you all you need to know about those numbers.

SailorMark on March 26, 2014 at 5:49 PM

This book provides a bit more perspective: The Big Picture: An Illustrated Guide to Modern American Trends

Mervis Winter on March 26, 2014 at 5:53 PM

Actually, I don’t think food or energy are calculated into the inflation equations, which tells you all you need to know about those numbers.

SailorMark on March 26, 2014 at 5:49 PM


Exactly!
Which is why I am perfectly happy to have these two Low Information Liberals™ spewing their lies and focusing people’s attention on the lie the CPI has become.

PolAgnostic on March 26, 2014 at 5:57 PM

I hope he’s the first one the mob kills when the food riots due to hyperinflation kick off.

quikstrike98 on March 26, 2014 at 6:08 PM

“The U.S. government can never run out of dollars.”

Neither can Zimbabwe or the Republic of Germany.

HitNRun on March 26, 2014 at 6:19 PM

How do you get as dumb as Ezra Klein?

Mimzey on March 26, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Actually, Klein is the Sheila Jackson-Lee, the Corrine Brown, the Hank Johnson of what he represents.

Lanceman on March 26, 2014 at 6:23 PM

“…inflation’s the lowest it’s been in 30 years.”

Oh good. Now I can go out and buy that box of cereal that’s pushing $5.

crankyoldlady on March 26, 2014 at 6:26 PM

So- that’s all they got?

So, let’s worry about other things–but not Vox.

socalcon on March 26, 2014 at 6:26 PM

“How we can we possibly be broke, when we still have all these blank checks?

every democrap.

rightside on March 26, 2014 at 6:38 PM

What has happened to the debt since Democrats took majority control of D.C. On 1/3/2007?

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/debt/search?startMonth=01&startDay=03&startYear=2007&endMonth=03&endDay=26&endYear=2014

ITguy on March 26, 2014 at 6:39 PM

“The U.S. government can never run out of dollars.”

This is absolutely true, and here’s why:

America’s so-called “debt” is really like almost owed to ourselves; in other words its EXACTLY like the down payment for your house you borrowed from your parents, or the college loans they took out for you. You never have to pay those back, right? Because they’re your parents. So the US never has to pay back any debt it owes to its parents. ‘Cuz its like your parents won’t run out of money, cuz they have, like, lots.

Or something. This guy who is really smart explained it to me on a video…

Pless1foEngrish on March 26, 2014 at 6:41 PM

Now what I say. The lawmakers believe the US has an infinity trillion dollar reserve. Crazy.

jake49 on March 26, 2014 at 6:54 PM

In the not too distant future we are told the US will be paying $1 trillion dollars a year on interest on the debt. When the country has gotten to point that $1 trillion dollars are essentially thrown away every year, will the debt matter to liberals then? That’s $1 trillion dollars a year not spent on important items, like federal bureaucrat salaries or wealth transfer payments.

waelse1 on March 26, 2014 at 6:59 PM

Does anyone believe that debt will ever be paid? Will it ever decrease even one dollar? When was the last time that happened?

If you can borrow half the budget, you can borrow all of it. If you can print half the budget (in order to “borrow” it), you can print all of it. Under the auspices of our current failed “leadership”, the idea of official government money is becoming meaningless.

The people supposedly in charge of the economy have not been able to stop the current depression this country is in. It is likely they are the cause of it. We have an office of the economy, and they should be held accountable for their failure- and yet nobody is willing to point that first finger at the current people in control of the system we live under.

Failure at all levels is the sign of the times. When people admit that this entire crop of “leaders” across the unipolar political spectrum are abject failures, that they have failed to faithfully discharge their duties and are grossly incompetent as well, there will come a turning point.

The national mood will brighten once we see the problem and start setting about fixing it.

Another Libertarian on March 26, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Neither can Zimbabwe, nor did Weimar Germany.

sharrukin on March 26, 2014 at 4:47 PM

“The U.S. government can never run out of dollars.”

Neither can Zimbabwe or the Republic of Germany.

HitNRun on March 26, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Well that’s embarrassing.

HitNRun on March 26, 2014 at 7:02 PM

Oh good. Now I can go out and buy that box of cereal that’s pushing $5.

crankyoldlady on March 26, 2014 at 6:26 PM

Oh hush, you had your eye on the buy one get the second one free cat food at Kroger this morning. Don’t try to tell me you didn’t!

HonestLib on March 26, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Well that’s embarrassing.

HitNRun on March 26, 2014 at 7:02 PM

Fools never differ…or was it ‘great minds think alike’?

sharrukin on March 26, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Remember when Ross Perot ran for President with his number 1 issue being the debt and deficit in 1992. The debt was 3.9 trillion at the time. And he came close to winning until he quit and looked a bit unstable.

Debt…..

3.9—–17.5
3.9—–17.5
3.9—–17.5
3.9—–17.5
3.9—–17.5
3.9—–17.5
3.9—–17.5
3.9—–17.5
3.9—–17.5
3.9—–17.5

Hmmm. That’s a big jump in 21 years. In another 21 years at that rate we will be at 78 trillion. However, because of the baby boomers and the rate of increase lately, we will likely be at 100+ trillion. And that’s if interest rates stay in the 2-3% range. If it goes back to just 2001 rates of 6+%, we could see 150+ trillion. And 250+ trillion if we average 10% like during the late 70′s. Staggering numbers in a very short period.

KMav on March 26, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Note to self:

Buy more silver.

trigon on March 26, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Let nanny bird pre-chew that for you….

calbear on March 26, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Of all the current affairs they could be usefully Voxplaining to the BuzzFeed generation right now — a primer on Crimean geopolitics

What makes you think this is their first production and not just their first release? Perhaps six weeks ago, they finished their first one, and it was about Crimea, concluding, “So let’s think of something else to worry about. The potential for Russia to invade Ukraine is just not a problem right now.”

That’s the problem with “right now”; it can change on you….

calbear on March 26, 2014 at 7:57 PM

At this moment (7:55pm EST) the video in their youtube channel has 98 views since it was loaded 6 hours ago…which is about 16.3 views per hour…so I guess not even the LOV are buying this nonsense…

ujorge on March 26, 2014 at 7:58 PM

Where were these geniuses when Senator Obama was calling our national debt unpatriotic and highway robbery of future generations?

gwelf on March 26, 2014 at 8:01 PM

All the stupidity aside

What an annoying voice!

IUnknown on March 26, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Watching that video was a better time than watching one more second of stupid coverage about that airplane from Malaysia–but not by very much.

thuja on March 26, 2014 at 9:34 PM

I wish HotAir still did original videos.

Surprised this site never found a video blogger to take over for Malkin’s “Vent” series.

bluegill on March 26, 2014 at 5:01 PM

What really did in the original videos (besides YouTube taking a hating to the Boss Emeritus) was Bryan Preston leaving. He was a whiz at video editing.

With respect to this video, not even BP could have salvaged it because it is weapons-grade stupid.

Steve Eggleston on March 26, 2014 at 10:19 PM

Ezra Klein: I can’t be out of money because there are still checks in the checkbook!

Printing more dollars make current dollars worth less.

Print them ad infinitum and they are worthless.

Good going, Ezra!

ajacksonian on March 27, 2014 at 7:02 AM

Low information voters are going to voluntarily go and watch a video about leftist talking points ?

I hope they haven’t bet the farm on this venture because it will fail spectacularly.

I’m sure they’ll get lots of diehard progressives to visit and applaud, but the idea that LIVs are going to that site is laughable.

I do enjoy the little graphic Hotair has up with this. Yes, the entire economy does exceed the national debt. So, uh… if the gov’t were to somehow appropriate the entire economic output of 300 million people or something… uh, what ?

Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to show the $17 trillion dollar debt compared to the $2.5 to 3 trillion in revenues per year ? Or perhaps the annual deficit that will be ADDING to that debt every year. Show how adding MORE debt each year is somehow going to reduce the debt or something.

It might also be useful if they provided some actual useful information rather than activist talking points. How does “don’t worry about the debt” help anyone ? “Freaking out” about the debt may not be necessary, but it IS an issue that Democrats aren’t remotely interested in addressing, other than to say “don’t freak out bro”.

deadrody on March 27, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Hot tip from Ezra Klein

Said no one. Ever.

Physics Geek on March 27, 2014 at 8:14 AM

OT: holy crap. House doc fix bill would push ICD 10 implementation back a year. If you are involved in the medical world this is a big deal (although expected by some) if it passes. Vote tomorrow.

WitchDoctor on March 26, 2014 at 5:11 PM

The ICD 10 implementation has been pushed back for years. The implementation will be a mess as different provider offices transition. We’ve been preparing for it for a year since we interface with dozens of TPAs who pay claims. Our software has to support both ICD 9 and 10 for a while. Personally, I think they should have just fixed some of the problems with ICD 9 (like specifying parts of the leg instead of the whole leg) instead of going overboard with the ICD 10 codes. Personally, I think going to ICD 10 will just exaggerate the problems with doctor coding and insurance. For those who don’t know the number of codes go from ~14,000 codes to ~69,000 codes.

dominigan on March 27, 2014 at 8:40 AM

This video misleads a couple places:

1.) “Debt held by the public” is only 1/3 of total debt (debt held by the Fed. Gov and debt held by the Fed Reserve is the rest).

- Even those ignore ‘unfunded liabilities’ of medicare and social security.

2.) It uses an inflation rate that ignores food and energy (i.e. what you pay in gas for your car or electric for your house). Historically this was fine and seasonal changes averaged out, but b/c of the growing debt this is now completely wrong.

Bottom line: The economy is doing poorly, everyone knows it, and it’s b/c of the debt. Freak out about it.

Jason on March 27, 2014 at 9:24 AM

This is aimed squarely at the low-information voter with a short attention span, whose views on the debt are sufficiently primitive that they might theoretically be affected by a two-minute cartoon.

Democrats understand their constituents are morons and they cater to them. This country is so over.

earlgrey on March 27, 2014 at 10:46 AM

My 16 year old asked me if this was put out my a mentally challenged person. Actually, he said something else, but I cleaned it up.

ctmom on March 28, 2014 at 8:56 AM