Monday, August 01, 2011

The Debt Ceiling Deal

Haven't had a chance--and probably won't--to read through it. But I've heard people on talk radio slamming it, and the libs at Huffington Post slamming it. So, it looks like a typical government consensus monster, tossing a bone to all the factions, who were insisting on steak.

As for how we got here, in truth the U.S. has been broke since World War II. IMO the fight to reign in federal spending was fought and lost in the Reagan years. The two-year period in the mid-Aughties when Republicans controlled everything was wasted, because not enough of them were serious about the public debt. The Tea Party candidates have fought as single issue representatives--they are only there to reduce spending. They are probably right when they say that if they don't fight now, they will have no standing to fight later, and they will be voted out. But the fickle public will probably vote them out even if they succeed, if certain programs are affected. So, they are probably single-use reps, in addition to being single issue.

The stimulus? It failed, drag it out back and bury it. But we will probably instead fall victim to the usual Washington logic: Did the government program succeed? Expand it to ensure future success. Did the government program fail? Expand it to ensure future success. Galvanizin­g frogs legs will make them jerk, but it won't bring them back to life. So it is with the zillions wasted on the stimulus. Better to let the economy revive and strengthen on its own, rather than be stuck with a zombie economy, which collapses as soon as the electrodes are removed.