Vive La Resistance

Chait profiles Josh Barro:

The brief arc of Barro’s young career—at National Review, then Forbes, and now Bloomberg View—displays a man losing all patience with the Republican Party. Over time, Barro’s writing has fitfully evolved from muted, oblique criticism to polite, persistent criticism to, finally, firm opposition. His alienation crystallized in a widely read post declaring Romney’s infamous “47 percent” video as fatally defining the Republican candidate. Now Barro writes things like “The party’s economic agenda, as embodied in the latest Ryan budget, is simply terrible for the vast majority of Americans.”

I recently sent Barro his 2010 article praising Ryan’s plan. After rereading it, he ticked off its flaws: He had filled in every ambiguity by assuming the best faith on Ryan’s part, while ignoring Ryan’s punishing cuts to Medicaid. The budgetary weaknesses he had identified, he had framed as problems that “need to be fixed,” whereas he now recognizes that Ryan is unwilling to do what’s needed to fix them (primarily, raise taxes).