Debt = Less Important Than Unemployment.


Does Andrew Sullivan really believe this?

The debt is obviously the most pressing issue at hand; this commission represents the best hope in a long time to tackle it.

Granted, what follows is a nice demolition of Paul Ryan's budget nonsense, which as an avowed Ryan skeptic, I can appreciate. Still, with 9.8 percent unemployment (16 percent for African Americans), and millions of Americans poised to lose their unemployment benefits, it's plainly wrong to call debt "the most pressing issue at hand."

That said, I understand Sullivan's enthusiasm for Simpson-Bowles. It's a nice conservative plan for a nice conservative guy. But ignoring the unemployed in favor of (what is still) a hypothetical crisis is ludicrous. And let's be clear: This isn't cowardice or ideological blindness. Rather, it's a recognition that balanced budgets are impossible without first tackling widespread joblessness, and the depression-like conditions that exist for millions in this country. Anything less is a Sandra Lee version of fiscal stability.

-- Jamelle Bouie

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