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Ezra’s Pizza

September 15th, 2010 . by economistmom

cold-pizza

Yesterday Ezra Klein made a brilliant, foodie-that-he-is-oriented analogy between the debate over extending the Bush tax cuts–and transforming them magically into “the Obama tax cuts for the middle class”–and “making” pizza:

[P]utting the lack of planning aside, [the claim that the middle-class portions of the Bush tax cuts are Obama's policy for middle-class tax relief] won’t stick because it’s not true. Democrats are talking about extending the Bush tax cuts. They are not talking about expanding Obama’s Make Work Pay tax cut, or putting something new in their place. Bush is getting the credit because it’s actually his plan. Just because I’m the guy reheating a cold slice of Ray’s Pizza on the third day doesn’t mean it’s now Ezra’s Pizza.

I would carry that analogy still further, pointing to today’s Ezra post on the Bush tax cuts, to add it’s as if Ezra throws a big gourmet dinner party and serves this reheated then-Ray’s-now-Ezra’s pizza as the main “Ezra entree.”  ;)

(PS:  photo above is courtesy of the site “Cookie Madness” and their post on the best gourmet way, a la Cooks’ Illustrated no less, to reheat cold pizza.)

6 Responses to “Ezra’s Pizza”

  1. comment number 1 by: Brooks

    Diane,

    I’m unclear on your attribution of responsibility/blame for extension of the Bush tax cuts. I thought you’ve always rightly pointed out that if Obama works to extend them, then they are indeed “the Obama tax cuts”, and Obama is responsible for the impact on deficits.

    Doesn’t Ezra’s labeling keep any blame or credit still on Bush? I would think you’d disagree with Ezra’s assertion/implication.

    Thanks in advance for clarifying who you think deserves credit/blame for such tax policy if Obama works for their extension (for the “middle class” or anyone else).

  2. comment number 2 by: economistmom

    Brooks: Certainly if that’s the only tax policy President Obama can come up with–the “reheated” Bush tax cuts–then yes, they become the “Obama tax cuts,” and President Obama deserves all the credit and all the blame from here forward, if he chooses to continue them. My point, like I think the one Ezra’s making, is that it’s pretty sad that “Obama tax policy” lacks so much original thinking–that this is the best he can come up with…reheated leftovers that weren’t even that tasty the first time around, even according to himself! And yet he’s trying to brag about how tasty they are now that they are relabeled as his own gourmet cooking! ;)

  3. comment number 3 by: Arne

    It is not just politicians that do it. Counselors call ir “reframing”.

  4. comment number 4 by: Arne

    Like, I intended to hit the ‘r’ key instead ot the ‘t’. Yes, don’t you see how much more individualistic that is?

  5. comment number 5 by: Brooks

    Diane,

    Thanks for the explanation. I guess if Obama gets what he wants he can’t continue blaming “the Bush tax cuts” for a large part of projected deficits. Unless chutzpah in D.C. is even more unbounded than I think.

  6. comment number 6 by: Vivian Darkbloom

    Thanks for raising that issue, Brooks. Indeed, one will need to change the nomenclature after the next bill is passed. In this regard, I have always thought there might be a subtle bias in the use of the term “extending” –it suggests, wrongfully I think, that by enacting a new bill the “cuts” remain the responsibility of the Bush administration. I see that even you use the term “extension” and this also bakes better into the re-warmed pizza metaphor. I would think in this context “re-enacting” is a term that better captures what happens and better assigns responsibility going forward, that is, they are rolling some new dough even though based on an old recipe.

    BTW, I see by earlier posts here that your comments have been frequently rejected by Capital Gains and Games. I have had similar experience recently, in particular with Collender, Bartlett and Andrews even after I have carefully removed anything that could be remotely considered “personal”. But, Samwick seems to be the exception. It seems they don’t like dissenting views over there. Perhaps that explains why so few comments are published at that site.