I’m having increasing trouble identifying with the religious-like fervor many deficit hawks are expressing these days. I also don’t think the hawks are advancing the debate by their take-no-prisoners attitude that often seems to cross the line to zealotry.
I need to emphasize from the start that I’m talking about real, substantively based deficit hawks rather than those who condemn deficits only when it suits their political purposes. This definitely does not include those who only think the deficit is terrible when the other political party is in the majority. In my mind you don’t qualify as hawk if you talk about the deficit but then fail to support the spending cuts and tax increases that would actually reduce it. In case anyone is wondering, you also aren’t a deficit hawk if all you do is support largely symbolic efforts like process changes.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning.
You can’t work on the federal budget as long as I have without being very concern
Save The Economy Without Accumulating Record Debt -- click here for details. My quick reading is that it is long on the WARD, short on the STE.
It's all deficits all the time in the headlines today. Some worthwhile reads:
1) Our friends at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget have finally suggested that we ought to have a plan to pay these deficits back, sort of:
The challenge is how to best meet the seemingly contradictory goals of providing the economy with sufficient stimulus, yet doing so in a fiscally responsible manner. The answer is to continue with stimulus policies as necessary, but, in order to regain the country's fiscal credibility, to promptly develop and announce a plan to reduce the deficit and close the long-term fiscal gap. This plan would be implemented as soon as the economy is strong enough to absorb it.
I have returned from some business travel to my familiar rant, this time on NPR's Marketplace. The teaser:
Bailout supporters took a lot of heat for handing that cash over to Wall Street. But commentator and economist Andrew Samwick argues it's actually Main Street that's usually on the receiving end of government help.
You can follow the link to listen to the commentary. I'd be happy to follow up on any questions raised by the piece.