Monday, February 9, 2009

Rachel Maddow Is Smart; Ben Nelson, Not So Much.

Rachel Maddow just interviewed Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) about his role in the stimulus compromise now working its way through the Senate.

Short version: Ben Nelson is a bloviator who seemed to genuinely not understand that removing $15 billion in education spending aid for the states meant that there would be $15 bilion fewer dollars used to build schools (creating jobs) and hire teachers (again jobs). Maddow ended up having to talk to him like a five year old. Telling him before you got involved there was more money in the stimulus package that would have created more jobs and now with less spending there will be fewer jobs created. The problem was Nelson didn't seem to understand that at all.

Here we go...

The Nelson interview begins around 5:30 but the whole thing is worth watching.


Nelson got around today or at least around MSNBC (wonder if the chance to be on the TV had anything to do with his wanting to be in on the comprimising). He was on MSNBC earlier in the day responding to Paul Krugman and Ezra Klein had plenty to say...
And thus life imitates snark: Ben Nelson's economic theory is based on a survey that Nelson has not conducted on Nebraskan attitudes towards education funding. Meanwhile, this is, as you'll note, utterly non-responsive to the question at hand. Ben Nelson believes Nebraskans would think $100 billion a "pretty big commitment to education." And maybe they would. He does not, however, say that they would think $150 billion an excessively big commitment to education. Nor, for that matter, does he suggest that they would think $80 billion an insufficient commitment to education. Confronted with Krugman's argument that Nelson's cuts did not display "any coherent economic argument," Nelson offered no coherent argument -- economic or otherwise -- in response. And this is the guy deciding the size of the stimulus package. He's cutting 500,000 jobs from the stimulus based on some fake poll he mentally conducted of Nebraskan preferences. He doesn't even bother to justify his actions on the merits. It's appalling.
(For the details and set up make sure to check out Klein's original post)

Here is the video:

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