I know I wrote in my last post that I was going to take a break, but the following really is required viewing. On Wednesday, Bruce Bartlett, a former domestic policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan, as well as a Treasury official under President George H.W. Bush, appeared on Hardball for an interview with Chris Matthews. In a five and a half minute conversation, the two men discussed the chart below, and Mr. Matthews, who is well-known for frequentlty interrupting his guests, sat back for a change, and let Mr. Bartlett speak freely. The result was a very concise explanation of exactly where our current debt problems originate, along with some particularly direct criticism for Republicans.