Friday, August 27, 2010

The Most Fiscally Irresponsible Government in U.S. History

Bean Counter Mort

I'm an accountant, and even I don't believe in the zero sum economic view that Mort seems to espouse here. Yes, we as individuals work with mostly fixed incomes, but the US economy is, in good times, a robust and ever expanding source of income for the Federal government. Heavier taxation depresses this expansion, whereas tax cuts promote growth as evidenced by the Kennedy and Reagan tax cuts (which resulted in the Clinton expansion).

What we need is to remove the regulatory and tax burdens from the people an get them working again. The resulting expansion, coupled with fiscal restraint will solve the problem, not overnight, but in short order.

There is an instinctive conclusion among the American public that President Obama's stimulus package has failed to create a sustained recovery. Unemployment has increased, not declined; consumers have retrenched; housing starts have crashed along with mortgage applications; and there is a fear that a double-dip recession may very well be in the pipeline. The public perception, reflected in Pew Research/National Journal polls, is that the measures to combat the Great Recession have mostly helped large banks and financial institutions, and that's a view common to Republicans (75 percent) and Democrats (73 percent). Only one third of either political leaning thinks government policies have done a great deal or a fair amount for the poor.

There is another instinctive conclusion among the American people. It is that the national deficit, and the debts we have accumulated, are of critical political importance. On the national debt, the money the government has spent without the tax revenues to pay for it has produced mind-numbing numbers so large as to be disconnected from reality. Zeros from here to infinity. The sums are hard to describe; it is hard to describe an elephant, but you know one when you see one. The public knows that, shuffle the numbers as you may, the level of debt is unsustainable.

Read US News article written by Mort Zuckerman, "The Most Fiscally Irresponsible Government in U.S. History" here.

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