Economics Politics The Opinionsphere

David Brooks’s Special Place in Washington

I’ve written before about David Brooks’s special place in Washington – as the almost always 

reliable barometer of the opinions and beliefs of the Washington establishment (and I don’t mean that as an insult.) The figure he cuts is a rather odd combination of an amateur (but insightful) anthropologist and a insider protecting the system.

There is an honesty about him, and his writing – an earnestness.

This observation from last Friday’s column struck me as probably true – and worrying:

If you read the C.B.O. testimony and talk to enough experts, you come away with a stark conclusion: There are deep structural forces, both in Medicare and the private insurance market, that have driven the explosion in health costs. It is nearly impossible to put together a majority coalition for a bill that challenges those essential structures. Therefore, the leading proposals on Capitol Hill do not directly address the structural problems. They are a collection of worthy but speculative ideas designed to possibly mitigate their effects.

In his way, I think David Brooks represents the best of what a columnist can offer – honest, informed opinions of intelligent people trying to make sense of the world around them.

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