Alphabet Soup From the Alpha Quadrant

I’m not actually sure where the Alpha Quadrant is, but based on this DeLong post, it must be somewhere near Berkeley. Here’s my favorite paragraph:

And every single senior Republican economic policy appointee comes out of a look back at the past three years looking very badly. X fails to organize meetings so that the long-run budgetary consequences of short-run policy moves are properly considered. Y pirouettes in midair and transforms from a deficit hawk into a deficit dove so as not to offend White House Media Affairs. Z lowballs the interest rate effects of higher deficits–and manages not to talk about the savings and investment effects at all. W mutters in the privacy of his own office about the importance of maintaining a surplus–but doesn’t have the nerve to say “Boo!” to a goose (let alone to George W. Bush) once he steps outside his office door. V remains silent while the clown show that is the Bush economic policy process–a process he cannot view with equanimity–rolls forward. U cuts his own agency staff off at the knees and shows no interest in the very important and interesting work on the long-run fiscal options that they have done. Outsiders like R who assured me back in the fall of 2000 that Bush understood and would tackle the long-run problems of funding entitlements and the social-insurance state manage not to emit a public peep of complaint. Q talks about how much the president wants to reduce the deficit without daring to put his own position on the line within the administration by demanding that words like “deficits are bad” be accompanied by an actual plan to reduce the deficit. Every one. Every single last one.

Some fun for the policy nerds: Why Who are X, Y, Z, W, V, U, R, and Q?