I was reading Brad Delong's blog, particularly the post about Romney's economic adviser, Glenn Hubbard. But this isn't about Hubbard, it's about Delong's response to a critical piece about Hubbard.
For my entire adult life Democratic politicians have proposed much sounder technocratic economic policies than Republican politician have. One reason for this is that Democratic policy advisors with academic street cred have used that cred to corral politicians, and Democratic politicians wanting to be validated by well-credentialed economists have listened. By contrast, Republican well-credentialed economists have been--well, they have been willing to validate pretty much anything. I don't like it. I don't have to say that I like it.
I have friends here in Texas who are solid Republicans but who can't give a solid reason why they are. Except that old reason that they were born that way. Really -- that rationale has been given several times. They are in and want to remain part of a Republican social grouping. I've tried over the years to understand their mindset and have learned a little.
For a start, if you're born into a moneyed Republican social grouping, do you really need economic advisers? I think not. The fact that you already have money means you understand what it's for... and what it's not for.
It certainly shouldn't be just handed out to people who aren't clearly as deserving as one's own children -- to people who probably don't understand the social perks and demands of good fortune. Clearly it makes sense to pay taxes to the road crews who fix our roads and use our military to fix other countries that aren't playing along. But it is not okay to just chuck money at people with a view to making their lives better.
Republicans believe they already know how to achieve a fair outcome ("we handle the money better, so..."). Why on earth would you hire an economist as an adviser to tell you something different from what you already know because you already have money.
The problem with Democrats is that (thanks to all those disagreeable economic advisers) they treat with skepticism the clear truth that a government budget should be handled just like a household budget. Worse, they have no idea what it's like to deserve a fortune or use it in the right way.