INSKEEP: You're saying where are the jobs, basically, is the question you're asking.
Mr. BAKER: Exactly. And that's off the map. Instead, we're talking about we have to reduce the budget deficit. And not only is that wrong in the sense that it's not the right topic, reducing the budget deficit goes the wrong way, and it's not mystical. I mean, if the private sector spends money, if Microsoft or General Electric goes out and spends money, they pay people to work, that creates jobs. The government spends money, they're paying people to work, that also creates jobs. It's not mystical. This is really common sense.
INSKEEP: Although you can also understand why people would be concerned about the budget deficit. Borrowing more than a trillion dollars per year, year after year, is scary to a lot of people.
Mr. BAKER: I know, and that's that I blame the politicians, I blame the media, because I would say we actually want a larger deficit, because the point here is we have 25 million people unemployed or underemployed. The reason why we should be concerned about a deficit is it's crowding out private-sector spending, private-sector investment. You're really hard-pressed to tell that story right now.
We still have extraordinarily low interest rates. We have excess capacity in just about every sector of the economy. You'd be very hard-pressed to say how let's say the government were to spend another three or $400 billion this year. How would that crowd any substantial amount of private-sector investment? You'd be very hard-pressed to say that.So think about that. And think about the Oscars. That was the worst show. People picked on David Letterman for his "Oprah . . . Uma" jokes. (Both were in the audience. He would draw their names out. David Letterman was probably the happiest man in the world last night as James Franco replaced him as worst Oscar host of all time.
James Franco was awful. And he mae it much, much worse by refusing to try. He wanted to telegraph that the ship was sinking and he was 'too good' to throw himself into it. (He co-hosted with Anne Hathaway.)
And the winners?
What a bunch of losers.
I include Natalie Portman on that lsit. You'd think she'd be working overtime to try to show some range but her follow up to BlackSwan was that dopey Ashton-and-I-are-friend-who-have-sex.
Natalie was okay in the movie. She wasn't great. Barbara Hershey (plying her mother) and Mila Kunis (playing her rival) were as important to making the film work as Natalie.
I just didn't buy her as a ballet dancer. She didn't have the posture. She didn't have the moves. Sorry.
I would have given it to Annette Benning.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Monday: