The day the deficit didn't die.

I try to keep a little hope that any bipartisan deficit commission will actually end up being a useful exercise, rather then the policy punt it so obviously is. Well, even a little hope is probably too much. Here's Krugman (link):

Specifically, Simpson has resurrected the old nonsense about how Social Security will be bankrupt as soon as payroll tax revenues fall short of benefit payments, never mind the quarter century of surpluses that came first.


here’s what you can’t do: you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say that for the last 25 years, when Social Security ran surpluses, well, that didn’t mean anything, because it’s just part of the federal government — but when payroll taxes fall short of benefits, even though there’s lots of money in the trust fund, Social Security is broke.

So, it looks like another meaningless deficit commission. It's my belief that fear-mongering on the deficit is too useful a political weapon for the GOP to seriously engage in substantive discussions with their opposition.  So, guess what? The quickest way to end meaningful policy discussions is to start making up 'facts' that are politically expedient but easily disproved by anyone paying attention to the numbers.


UPDATE:  Great post on the deficit commission from Jonathan Bernstein (link).

No comments:

Post a Comment