“The wrong turn we’ve taken in economic policy — our obsession with debt and ‘entitlements,’ when we should have been focused on jobs and opportunity– was of course, driven in part by the power of wealthy vested interest. but it wasn’t just raw power. The fiscal scolds also benefited from a sort of ideological monopoly: for several years you just weren’t considered serious in Washington unless you worshipped at the altar of Simpson and Bowles.
“Now, however, we have the president of the United States breaking ranks, finally sounding like the progressive many of his supporters thought they were backing in 2008. This is going to change the discourse — and, eventually, I believe, actual policy.”
Paul Krugman, “Obama Gets Real,” NYT
It’s been so frustrating to me that during and since the Great Recession, we’ve sacrificed growth by focusing too much on each year’s deficit and the national debt. Of course, deficits were going to spike when unemployment was so high and we were paying out so much more for unemployment benefits, food stamps, Medicaid, etc. and taking in so much less in revenues. But we behaved as if that was not just a temporary circumstance, but our long-term destiny, and thus prolonged and deepened that temporary state, weakening us as a country and cruelly crushing a whole lot of families unnecessarily. Keynes is (still) right, Paul Ryan is wrong, and Ayn Rand was a novelist, not an economist. It’s time for the Prez and the Dems to lead us out of this economic wilderness.