Why Does Anybody Take This Guy Seriously?

While thinking about the tragically underused phrase “perfidious wretch” for my previous post, I remembered that Dick Cheney is back in the news again, this time for reasons not pertaining to war crimes. He was worrying about the federal deficit on TV yesterday:

I think the budgets [the Obama Administration] submitted are way out of whack. I think what it does not only to the short-term deficit but long-term debt situation is very objectionable.  . . .

I don’t hear anybody in the administration expressing concern over that massive growth in the national debt and what’s that going to mean long-term in terms of our currency, in terms of inflation.

I’m honestly inclined to agree with those statements, but you have to remember that they are coming from the same person who said, “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter,” while defending the Bush Administration’s aggressive tax-cutting (and therefore deficit-engorging) policies to an extremely skeptical Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill. Incidentally, I recall Reagan’s deficits mattering quite a bit during the 1992 presidential election campaign.

It is, dare I say, a torturous intellectual path from his argument with O’Neill to yesterday’s interview.

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