Joe Conason: Sure, listen to Niall Ferguson -- but always ignore his bad advice





[Joe Conason writes a weekly column for Salon and the New York Observer. His new book is "It Can Happen Here: Authoritarian Peril in the Age of Bush."]

Before the inquiring minds at the Aspen Ideas Festival go totally gaga over Niall Ferguson, perhaps they ought to know a little more about the British historian's keen desire to punish our pampered working families, and how he would prefer to see us spend our dollars.

As a celebrity intellectual, Ferguson much prefers the broad, bold stroke to the careful detail, so it is scarcely surprising that he endorsed Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan's "wonderful" budget template, confident that his audience in Aspen would know almost nothing about that document. For Ferguson, the most beguiling quality of Ryan's budget must be its bias against the working and middle classes and in favor of the wealthy. But as the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities revealed in a scorching review, the plan doesn't work even on its own terms....


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John a Wilson - 7/11/2010

There is usually a vast difference of the definition of working people and rich people when these opinion pieces are written. I'm a rich person in Joe's world. Where's my money? Is it in Obama's stash as described by the woman in Detroit after Obama was elected?