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I have strong memories of Alan Greenspan’s bizarro justification in 2001 for insisting that we stop running federal budget surpluses. It was convoluted, it didn’t make sense, and it was pretty obvious partisan hackery. But I confess that either I’ve forgotten, or I never quite realized, just how eccentric it really was. “I’ve seen theories this convoluted and loopy before,” says Jon Chait, after reminding us of Greenspan’s concluding flourish, “But they’ve usually been scrawled in long-hand by random cranks who mail letters to magazines.” No kidding.

UPDATE: Just out curiosity, is there anyone around today who actually defends Greenspan’s position back then? Maybe Larry Kudlow or Donald Luskin? Anyone?

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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