Sully v. the Shrill One on Fiscal Policy

Andrew Sullivan attacks Paul Krugman (hat tip to Mark Thoma) in such an utterly disingenuous way that is receiving some well deserved scorn.

Krugman writes:

According to this view, if you’re a former Bush supporter who now says, as Mr. Bartlett did at the Cato event, that “the administration lies about budget numbers,” you’re a brave truth-teller. But if you’ve been saying that since the early days of the Bush administration, you were unpleasantly shrill.

Sully’s response was:

My criticisms of the Bush fiscal policy began very early and were very strong, although I supported the tax cuts (still do) and my focus was entirely on spending

I have to wonder if Andrew Sullivan even remotely understands the fiscal situation. Yes, spending as a share of GDP has risen – SLIGHTLY. The main reason for the shift from the Clinton era of fiscal responsibility to the current situation with massive budget deficits, however, is the tax cuts that Mr. Sullivan still supports. Now if he has some magic wand for reducing spending, I’d like to hear it. If the magic wand is to eliminate Social Security benefits but still impose payroll taxes – I’d call that a backdoor employment tax increase. Or might the magic wand be a massive cut in defense spending, which would mean that Sullivan is not serious about national security. If Andrew Sullivan is serious about fiscal responsibility, how can he still support tax cuts when neither he nor any conservative that I know of has anything remotely close to $600 billion per year in spending cuts?