Nowhere will you read a more conventionally sputtering assessment of George Stephanopoulos' recent interview of President Obama than in Jonathan Karl's reporting of the president's attitude toward current deficits as--and these are Karl's disbelieving words--"no big deal."
Warns the horrified Karl: "[T]here are two problems with that accounting." And they are? "First," CBO's projections, and "Second"--you guessed it!--"Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson are now saying we are nowhere near accomplishing the amount of deficit reduction needed to put the government on sustainable path."
Why, Simpson even told Karl that "the failure to control entitlement spending [is] 'madness.'"
An amateur might think a professional journalist reporting on an economic story would consult a professional economist--maybe even an economist with, say, a Nobel Prize in economics?--rather than an epigrammatic, ad hominem-hurling crank of a retired pol who misses the kleeg lights. But where's the drama in that?
[T]he deficit is falling more rapidly than it has for generations, it is already down to sustainable levels, and it is too small given the state of the economy....
[T]he case for making the deficit a central policy concern, which was never very strong given low borrowing costs and high unemployment, has now completely vanished.
Karl's kind of reporting is still generally characterized as just tiresome conventional wisdom. But it's really just tiresome conventional sputtering.