Here is CNN's Bill Schneider reacting to the candidates' answer about which priorities they'd set aside because of the financial crisis:

Obama is once again not answering the question about which programs he will cut. He says that he will go through the budget line by line and eliminate the programs that don't work…but he won't specifically name any. McCain is also avoiding specifics on this issue. Why can't they just acknowledge that if the economy is in a slump they will have to delay rolling out new projects and spending, and then they'll try and get them done when the economy picks up again?

Now, here is yours truly reacting to Schneider:


The economy is slowing down. We want the government putting more money into the economy, not less, preferably though policies that are either short-term or contribute to future productivity. (See my previous item for more.)

This isn't complicated stuff. It's economics 101. Why do so many pundits miss this?

--Jonathan Cohn