Dean Baker, via Susie Madrak on the state of thought in Washington, DC:
[W]hen all the inside Washington types agree on something, it is a good idea to hang on to your pocket books. Remember, these are the folks who thought it was great that everyone was becoming a homeowner in the middle of a housing bubble and that Alan Greenspan was the greatest central banker of all-time. In other words, inside Washington types are a group of people that mindlessly repeat the conventional wisdom and are largely incapable of original thought.
Playing Inflation Games with Grandma: The Washington Consensus and the Chained CPI
The particular subject, of course, is DC's never-ending quest to "save" Social Security by destroying it, but it's a statement that could just as easily be applied to the War On Terrorism, the War On Drugs, intellectual property, foreign policy, any other aspect of economic policy, and defense spending. Anyone independent enough to think outside that box is branded a wacko in one way or another. Yet they are usually the ones who make sense.
In Baker's article, he makes the point that the government's own statistics should tell our elected officials that they are doing the wrong thing. Yet, they will do the wrong thing, anyway, because that's what makes sense to them. His article, and Susie Madrak's take on it, are both worth a look-see, I think.