When one reads a piece by Robert Samuleson, one feels oneself in the presence of a clear, penetrating, and honest intellect:
By all means, let's avoid the "fiscal cliff": the $500 billion in tax increases and federal spending cuts scheduled for early 2013 that, if they occurred, might trigger a recession. But let's recognize that we still need to bring the budget into long-term balance. This can't be done only by higher taxes on the rich, which seem inevitable. Nor can it be done by deep cuts in defense and domestic "discretionary" programs (from highways to schools), which are already happening. It requires controlling the welfare state. In 2011, "payments for individuals," including health care, constituted 65 percent of federal spending, up from 21 percent in 1955. That's the welfare state.
Compare Samuelson to the leftist ideologue, Paul Krugman:
It’s not just the fact that the deficit scolds have been wrong about everything so far. Recent events have also demonstrated clearly what was already apparent to careful observers: the deficit-scold movement was never really about the deficit. Instead, it was about using deficit fears to shred the social safety net.
From Samuelson, we learn something. We get facts, figures, cogent arguments. From Krugman, we get an ad hominem attack. The fiscal hawks, we are in effect told, are motivated by a dastardly desire to "shred the social safety net," not by any objective economic considerations. Krugman impugns their motives while ignoring their arguments.
I am not opposed to the impugning of motives in all cases. It is legitimate to do so when the other side has no arguments or has transparently worthless ones. In earlier posts I impugned the motives of those who oppose photo ID at polling places, but only after I carefully argued for such ID procedures and refuted the flimsy 'arguments' of the oppostion.
Go read the two articles in question and decide for yourself who is talking sense.