Jonathan Chait just makes the Fonzi of Freedom look like the fool that he is:
Reason.com editor Nick Gillespie has a response to my item gently pointing out his mathematical illiteracy and that of his co-author Veronique de Rugy. A good chunk of it seems to be tonal posturing whose purpose is to show that Gillespie is cooler than me. I’ll stipulate the point, because:
1. Everybody is cooler than me, and
2. Gillespie wears a black shirt and black leather jacket in virtually all his public appearances, and obviously you can’t get cooler than that.
As for the substance, Gillespie offers very little. Let me review my main point. He wrote an article, with de Rugy, suggesting that the federal budget could be balanced by 2020 without raising taxes from their Bush-era levels merely by cutting spending by 3.6% a year. He illustrated this with a video portraying the federal budget as a piece of pork (get it?) divided into ten slices, each slice representing a year. In the video, Gillespie slices off a small bit from each year, representing the tiny 3.6% of waste that would have to be trimmed.
As I showed, and Gillespie does not deny in his response, the claims he made in the video were false. The plan would require cutting the budget by 3.6% the first year, an additional 3.6% the next year, until the 2020 budget was 24% lower than it would be. In other words, Gillespie’s plan would not be slicing one little 3.6% off of each year. It would be slicing one piece off the first year, two pieces off the next year, three pieces off the third, and so on.
Reading Gillespie’s response, I don’t think he was being deliberately misleading. I think he genuinely does not understand the article he co-authored…
Too funny. The last I saw Gillespie, he was tweeting something about Net Neutrality being the greatest threat to freedom of speech EVAH. It’s completely distressing that anyone takes these clowns even remotely seriously.
And really- didn’t the House and Senate just prove once and for all with their votes on the tax cut bill that no one really gives a shit about the deficit?
*** Update ***
I need a cigarette after this:
I really advise Gillespie to confine himself to subjects he understands (motorcycles? picking up chicks with a snap of the fingers?) and find a fiscal writer who is able to make the libertarian case from factual premises.