The Corner

Chait & Subsidies

Jonathan Chait has a very snippy response to yesterday’s post:

In the course of a debate over agriculture subsidies, Jonah Goldberg writes,

Jonathan Chait, has from time to time suggested that conservatives are pro-ag subsidy and liberals aren’t (sorry, can’t find a link right now).

I would suggest that Jonah could not find a link because no such link exists. I think that President Bush was worse on agriculture than President Clinton (Clinton and a GOP Congress phased out ag subsidies, while Bush and a GOP Congress jacked them up.) I also think that conservatives put up far too little opposition to agriculture subsidies. But to suggest they favor agriculture subsidies on principle would be silly.

I assume his claim is simply part of Jonah’s admitted policy of imputing wild, easily-discredited views to his ideological adversaries and then failing to provide evidence that they actually hold those views. Sorry, I can’t find the link where Jonah admitted this right now.

Me: Actually, I couldn’t find a link at the time because I was barreling through Iowa and my internet connection was interminably slow and unreliable. Now, I am about to leave Chicago for home. After a brief search, I can’t find the link that I had in mind, but I’ll keep looking because I could swear I read something along those lines. In the meantime, I’ll take Chait’s word for it that his position is what he says it is and that I misread whatever it was I read.

And, yes, I’m sure this post will generate more email from folks like this.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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