Much economic discussion these days revolves around how contradictory and impossible the major premise of the opponent's program is. The left complains that it is simply insane to think you can cut taxes and get more revenue. It just seems backwards. If you want more money, charge more. The right complains that the Keynesian approach seems equally insane on the face of it. Why should the government spend more money in a downturn, when the people have less?
Both sides have their reply, based on their assumptions. Reduced taxes means more money out doing productive things in the economy, like creating jobs, which eventually creates more people working, making money, and paying into the system. Or from Keynes, the system needs a certain amount of fluid in it to operate properly. If the fluid isn't coming in naturally, the government has to top off the fluid by injecting money into it.
I leave off for the present the argument about which works better. I note that there is a similarity in that both teach that money flowing around rather than sitting idle is a good thing, but they differ as to where the money comes from. What strikes me at the moment, however, is the inability of either side to acknowledge that yes, it does seem counterintuitive, doesn't it? Perhaps in these times of bitterness, such an admission would seem too great a risk. Much better to simply pound home the idea of how ridiculous the other guy's idea sounds. Yet I can't help but think we might move forward if we could start from the realisation that both positions can be oversimplified and made to sound insane.