…because I’m an economist and a mom–that’s why!

“Three Stooges”-Style Budgeting

April 1st, 2011 . by economistmom


My boss at the Concord Coalition, Bob Bixby, offers a very unique perspective on how the budget process is going, suggesting it goes beyond “childish.”  (In fact, Bob and I have often remarked to each other that we’re sure that real kids could outdo the adults in providing some pretty common-sense–and not just cute–suggestions on how to solve our budget woes.)  Bob’s set-up for the “Stooges” analogy (check out the video that goes with the blog post for Bob’s further explanation):

Moe, Larry and Curly are fighting in the back seat of the car. No one is in the driver’s seat. As the boys settle down, Curly looks up and says, “Hey, don’t look now but we’re about to be killed.”

Leave it to The Three Stooges to provide the perfect metaphor for what passes as a budget debate in Washington these days.

It appears that we’re headed for a government shutdown in April and a possible default in May all because politicians can’t stop squabbling over a few billion dollars from a small slice of the budget while our overall fiscal policy is headed for a cliff.

I’m not familiar enough with the Stooges’ individual personalities to figure out which of our leaders correspond best to each of the Three Stooges.  Any Three Stooges aficionados out there who also have been paying attention to how our leaders have been behaving in these debates?  Who is Moe?  Who is Larry? And who is Curly?

Oh, and how fitting… it is April Fools’ Day, after all!

2 Responses to ““Three Stooges”-Style Budgeting”

  1. comment number 1 by: Centerist Cynic

    My thoughts exactly. I think most first graders could do a better job. If the Three Stooges were doing the budget at least it would be funnier to watch.

    Not sure that we can expect it too get much better since the House can’t even stop arguing over plastic forks!

  2. comment number 2 by: Jim Glass

    Not sure that we can expect it too get much better since the House can’t even stop arguing over plastic forks!

    Reminds me of how the US Senate cafeteria, run by the Senate itself, after draining off millions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies, recently finally went broke, unable to meet payroll.

    While the House cafeteria, privatized back in the 1980s, at the same time returned over $1 million annually in commissions to the House — and (not coincidentally) Congressional staffers lined up deep in the House cafeteria for the better food, leaving the Senate cafeteria always half empty.

    An Aesop among us might come up with some kind of moral for this story like, I dunno, maybe, “If they can’t run a cafeteria, how can you expect them to run a whole $3 trillion government — or national health care for 300 million people?” But I’ll leave that to someone more clever than me.