The New York Times has an editorial noticing the debate over whether cities and states should be allowed to declare bankruptcy. "The latest pernicious idea, pushed by Newt Gingrich, Jeb Bush and several members of Congress, would allow the states to declare bankruptcy, for the principal purpose of tearing up union contracts and negating pension obligations," the Times says. "Though the bankruptcy proposal has not caught fire in Washington, it demonstrates that some conservatives are serious about experimenting with volatile new ideas."
It's interesting to see the Times assailing the "conservatives" for "experimenting" with "new ideas." Usually it's the "progressives" who claim they are the ones who want to experiment with new ideas, while the hidebound, stuck-in-the-past, traditionalist conservatives are resisting. It's the Times editorialists who in this case sound like the "conservatives" — they're afraid of the new ideas. At a certain point you wonder whether the Times is against it because it is a new idea, or just because Newt Gingrich and Jeb Bush, who they don't like, are for it.
Also, it's hardly as if this state and municipal bankruptcy provision is a consensus issue for "conservatives." The Manhattan Institute, a conservative-oriented think tank, has been campaigning against it, with the institute's Nicole Gelinas, Steven Malanga, and E.J. McMahon all writing against the idea. (See here for Ms. Gelinas in the Boston Globe, here for Ms. Gelinas in the New York Post, here for Mr. McMahon in the Wall Street Journal, here for Mr. McMahon at Public Sector Inc., and here for Mr. Malanga at Realclearmarkets.com.)