I’d be surprised if Mike Kinsley makes much less than 250K a year. In fact, I suspect he’s straight-up lying here (via), though maybe his total earnings per year are down from the days when he was riding higher:
Sure let’s raise taxes on the rich. But that’s not going to solve the problem. The problem is the great, deluded middle class—subsidized by government and coddled by politicians. In other words, they are you and me. If you make less than $250,000 a year, Obama has assured us, you are officially entitled to feel put-upon and resentful. And to be immune from further imposition.
And the wretched spinach/dessert cliché:
Austerians don’t get off on other people’s suffering. They, for the most part, honestly believe that theirs is the quickest way through the suffering. They may be right or they may be wrong. When Krugman says he’s only worried about “premature” fiscal discipline, it becomes largely a question of emphasis anyway. But the austerians deserve credit: They at least are talking about the spinach, while the Krugmanites are only talking about dessert.
How does he know that austerians don’t get off on other people’s suffering? When austerians write articles declaring “make everybody hurt”, isn’t it hard to argue that they don’t get off, at least a little, on other people’s suffering, isn’t it?
It’s also worth noting that Kinsley does not cite a single figure in his column, other than the 250K a year he claims to make less than. He gives himself a way with the spinach/dessert, too; that has more the ring of a moral argument than a serious economic one.
I’ve always hated Michael Kinsley. He invented nerdy-yet-smug overly boyish shtick that Bobo’s made a career out of copying, his oh-so-contrarian shtick gave rise to Mickey Kaus and countless others, and he made glib substance-free Harvard dining hall bullshit strangely respectable. He’s never been any kind of a liberal, despite his protestations.
And that’s my ultimate problem with Kinsley. He’s free to believe what he wants, but he should stop pretending he’s on the left.