Good thing the GOP controls all three branches of government! Our fiscal saviors!
Oh wait, nothing is different.
As I've written before, this is the political crisis of our time. It's not just about which party is in power; the unsustainable trajectory of govenment spending foretells a change in the relationship of the citizenry to its government.
The government's role as the electorate's financial intermediary - a holdover from the client-broker state model of the New Deal - is shrinking as it runs out of other peoples' money.
When adult Republicans (e.g. Ryan and McConnell) try to talk about adjusting expenditure to reduce the unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare, the Noise Machine - that's Democrats, labor unions, the media - shouts them down. Discussion isn't possible. Republicans can only wait for their "I told you so" moment.
Discussion won't be happen until the debt crisis matures. One can only hope it won't be another Great Depression.
TBH I think it's a good example of getting the government we deserve.
Talk about cutting Medicare or SS is the equivalent of political suicide, regardless of which side of the aisle you're standing on.
So here we are.
AC, Trump showed us how it’s done, by lowering the corporate tax rate and growing the economy! The deficit actually shrunk!
I mean, the deficit was stable, because the tax cut paid for itself!
I mean, the deficit increased by $100 billion a year.
Friggin’ unions. And media. And democrats.
The key number is the ratio of annual deficit to GDP, tracked over the long term.
“The key number is the ratio of annual deficit to GDP, tracked over the long term.”
I’m old enough to remember many-many election cycles where Republicans would hammer endlessly on the concept that continual borrowing to support the government was a disaster in the making - eventually. We’re on track to borrow 1.3 Trillion dollars this fiscal year. Now we hear this “ratio of annual deficit to GDP” rationalization that Democrats have been using for a generation. I guess it’s what you do when you’re in power. Let the good times roll. The only difference between the political parties is who gets enriched by the largess. We’re borrowing money from China to give to farmers to not sell soybeans to them. They’re all hypocrites, ultimately.
You imply that using ratio of deficit to GDP is some sort of excuse for deficit spending. I think you're mistaken. You certainly are wrong if you think that's what I mean.
Please explain what you mean by "rationalization." What metric do you prefer to measure the size of the deficit? Thank you.
Using a ratio to determine the relative impact of expanding deficits may be a perfectly reasonable thing to do, from an economic standpoint. My point is simply that for many years, the Republican election cycle mantra has always been a more binary, easily packaged focus for the voters. Deficits bad - need balanced budget amendment - robbing our children’s future, etc. Now the talking points are more nuanced...
Thank you, Northarrow. I agree that Republicans haven't been sincere about controlling spending. Also that "balanced budget amendment" was a distraction, since it couldn't have been enacted and wouldn't have worked.
There are innumerable types of overspending by our beloved benefactors.
I happen to have some experience tracking grant moneys used to lubricate constituents through funding of non-viable enterprises to absurd levels. Hundreds of millions have been spent on the Downeaster by Amtrak, and it operates with revenues less than half of operating costs, requiring subsidies of $10 million a year or so.
Brunswick Executive Airport, the latter day application of the aviation related vestiges of the Naval Air Station, has received over $30 million for a variety of unnecessary make work projects since the Navy left in 2011.
This in a BFE state of just over a million people. Take this de rigeur largesse and multiply to a national level and you quickly see a Fed Gov and its elected overseers who couldn't give a flying crap how much it spends. Not to mention a populace that will take all it can get, no matter the consequences.
When you see the phenomenon in detailed, local terms, it is infuriating. Even worse is that when you bring it to the attention of those responsible at state and federal levels, they can't be bothered.
Free money is the opiate that has control of the entire population, as compared to the pharmaceutical versions.
How could the giverment possibly be broke, there's still checks in the checkbook....
And numbers on the spreadsheet!
And Republicans in office...
NA: Don't start that... BO racked up $10T, an achievement that will be hard to beat... even with a 2nd term.
I like Northarrow, but his comments remind me to never make the perfect the enemy of the good.
This administration + congress is further proof that complete control by one party is bad for deficit spending. Doesn't really matter which way it goes, when the white house & capitol hill are controlled by different parties, everyone fights over stuff so less gets done which means better deficit spending.