Monday, December 16, 2013
Robert Samuelson Tells US That Budget Deficits Are Our Most Important Problem
The Washington Post editorial board believes that we need to reform entitlements in order to reduce the risks of unsustainable national debt. Robert Samuelson has been given a platform to make that case for the Post. In this article, he argues that the recent bipartisan budget deal is an example of what is wrong with governments. It does not go far enough in addressing our budget problems because governments typical avoid making hard decisions. They prefer incrementalism, and the current budget deal is a classical example of incrementalism. The bold steps that government should take to reduce our fiscal imbalances only occur during crises. Samuelson has done his best to convince us that we need a smaller government in order to avoid financial disaster. He prefers to wear a blindfold that prevents him from seeing the real problems in the global economy that confront us today. He should read Larry Summer's article which is posted below. I doubt, however, that he would appreciate the impact that economic stagflation would have on the budget problems that he worries so much about. He understands what his job is at the Post.