Deficit Commission

Fiscal Policy By Dummies: Looking at the Deficit Plans from a Progressive Standpoint

Note: this is a cross-post from The Realignment Project. Follow us on Facebook!



Following the on-going drama of the Deficit Commission - which just adjourned without even voting on its own proposal, and which never came close to getting the necessary votes to trigger an up-or-down vote in the Senate - has been rather painful. Especially in light of the Republican takeover of the House and the ongoing dispute over extending the Bush tax cuts and raising the debt ceiling, the grip of austerity thinking seems paradoxically strong and weak at the same time, pervasive enough to be omnipresent within the media yet not actually persuasive enough to get anyone to vote for anything they dislike.

However, there is one point that needs to be cleared up - behind the banalities of "living within our means" and other balanced-budget platitudes, there is ideology at work. The budget is not just a technical issue, but a moral document - it is a choice between a high road or a low road to the future.

"There Is No Economic Justification for Deficit Reduction" Galbraith to Deficit Commission

Posted by Michael Collins

Your proceedings are clouded by illegitimacy.

The conclusion to be drawn is that Social Security should in any event be off the agenda of your Commission, as it is a transfer program and not a program of public spending in the economic sense. In particular it does not use capital resources and will not drive up interest rates. This is true whether the "Social Security System" is in internal balance or not.
--James K. Galbraith