The Corner

‘Good Policy’ Not Good Enough for the White House

I don’t agree with everything in Noam Scheiber’s new book, The Escape Artists – particularly the notion that the Obama administration did not spend enough money on fiscal stimuli — but it has some juicy behind-the-scenes color in it, and it’s a good read. One moment that tripped my health-care antennae was the one in which, during the debt-ceiling negotiations, Senator Kyl asked Jack Lew and Gene Sperling, somewhat incredulously, if it was true that “there are Medicare savings that you think would be good policy. But you won’t do them unless we agree to raise taxes?” Lew and Sperling respond “yes.” Next time someone tells you that the problem with Washington is that it is the Republicans who put ideology and party over good policy, you should direct them to this passage.

Tevi Troy is a presidential historian and former White House aide.

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