Clueless Ezra Klein: Big Government Programs Not Progressive, Just 'Good Policy'

Ezra Klein has unwittingly offered a telling insight into the liberal mind.  On Morning Joe today, the liberal Washington Post blogger actually argued that quintessential big government programs like massive involvement in housing finance and the imposition of a carbon tax aren't "progressive" but simply "good policy."

Joe Scarborough pushed back saying Klein's notion of "good policy" was only so for those who share his liberal mindset.   Video after the jump.

Watch Klein in essence claim that there is nothing left to debate: big government is just obviously and inarguably the way to go.

Note: Klein's comments arose after Joe Scarborough admitted to finding it hard, as a conservative, to make the case for Romney.  Klein offered to help, mentioning that whereas Romney has said conservative things on the campaign trail, he has chosen as top advisers people who in the past have advocated a carbon tax, government mortgage refinancing, and rasing taxes via the Simpson-Bowles plan.

EZRA KLEIN: [Romney] has pulled an economic policy team that has advocated many times in the past for things like a massive mortgage refinance program.  It's advocated in [adviser] Mankiw's case for a carbon tax. It's argued in Vin Weber's case for the Simpson-Bowles Commission which would have brought up $2 trillion in taxes.  The hope for Mitt Romney is that he's just playing a game here, and the advisers are where you really want to take the cue.  The dangerous thing is --

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Ezra, you're not helping me at all here.  You're making it even harder for me to defend Mitt Romney.  I think that --

KLEIN: Pragmatism, that's not helpful?

SCARBOROUGH: It's helpful if you're a progressive who writes for the Washington Post. Not so if you're a small-government conservative.

KLEIN:  That's I think an issue.  It's an issue if we've come to the point where those issues are "progressive."  What about a mortgage refinancing plan is specifically progressive? What about what Greg Mankiw, who was Bush's chief economic adviser would call a Pigovian  tax, in which we'd move some taxes away from work and onto carbon to get down pollution, to get down carbon pollution,  is progressive?  That's just good policy.  The fact that it's become progressive is a problem for Republicans.

SCARBOROUGH: It's good policy if you have your worldview. Not everybody thinks like you.       

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.