Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Best Explanation of the Long-Term Debt Mess I've Read

Everyone reading this blog should read this post on NRO from Yuval Levin.  Not just the post, but all the links in the post.  When you've completed this task, put your pencils down and look up.


You've just read the single most effective and clearly communicated summary of the hole we are currently in that I have been able to locate.  If you find a better one, let me know.  In it, he states the problem, its enormity, and the laughably small impact any of the current Debt Ceiling driven plans will have on it--from either side of the aisle.

Behold the simplicity of this paragraph, which leads one to the conclusion that now is not the time for big deals (much as I'd like it to be):  "That doesn’t mean a debt-ceiling deal has to address all this. It would be unreasonable to expect that. But it does mean that by failing to address it, such a deal would fail to really touch the debt problem. Any deal that fails to do that (even if it’s called a “grand bargain” and claims to involve trillions in cuts over ten years or is hailed as the epitome of sanity by gang members) is not a meaningful debt-reduction plan, and is not worth huge concessions from Republicans, like a multi-trillion dollar tax increase. It would be, rather, a small spending-reduction deal and would be worth small concessions from Republicans, like a less than 1-to-1 relationship between cuts and a debt-ceiling increase, or some similar compromise. The equivalent of a huge tax concession (which would shatter the Republican coalition, but which Democrats consider essential) is a huge health-care concession (which would shatter the Democratic coalition but which Republicans consider essential), but the president has insisted that those are entirely off the table. If that’s the case, then taxes should be too, and it’s time to finalize a smaller deal."

This post and George Will's column in the WaPost this morning form a tight case for going small now and going bigger when more favorable electoral conditions exist.   Trying to slay this beast with the leadership of one half of half of the political branches is a plan destined to fail. 


"The Hammer" said...

Well I must be a damned genius because I've been screaming about this for a long time.
You know what really sucks about all this? I mean apart from the fact the MSM is totally carrying water for Obama & Co., apart from the Dems cynically scaring hell out of seniors and using them for political advantage... AGAIN, apart from all the waste and corruption in gov't; you know what really sucks? It's that most people don't give a shit. They haven't a clue. THAT is what scares me.

Anonymous said...

It's the elephant in the room and no one can see it.

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