Thursday, January 19, 2012

Alan Blinder channels St. Augustine

 You know, "Lord, grant me chastity, but not just yet"!

In today's WSJ, Alan writes, "it would be smart to borrow, say, another $500 billion this year and then pay for it, say, 10 times over, with $5 trillion in deficit reduction spread over 10 years—starting, say, in 2014."

People say this all the time, Blinder, Christina Romer, Mark Thoma, but it doesn't make sense. All Congress can commit to doing is what they actually do in the present. Does anyone really think the coming "draconian sequesters" on defense will actually happen?

The "cuts are coming around the corner" language is just boilerplate, designed to inoculate the writer from the charge of fiscal irresponsibility when they advocate increasing current federal spending.

Current Congresses cannot bind future Congresses. If they really want to cut spending, the only way to do it is to (sorry in advance) JUST DO IT in the here and now.

Don't hold your breath.

1 comment:

Richard Stands said...

I hear they're going to cut a dollar a year for a trillion years.