Why is the deficit so important to fix now?
June 26, 2012
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You might have seen that Warren Buffet quote floating around:
I could end the deficit in 5 minute. You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.
All this talk and hand wringing about the deficit. I’ve never seen so much attention, in 30+ years, paid to the deficit. Why now? Why not in the early 80’s when Reagan was running up a huge deficit due to cold war military spending? Why not when Bush was fighting the “war” on terror and spending like there was no tomorrow?
The answer is simple: fixing the deficit now means economic recovery will be slower and give the GOP a chance to defeat Obama in 2012.
To believe this you only have to believe two things:
- Paying down on the deficit in the middle of a recession is bad economic advice. I won’t argue with a Nobel winning economist on this one.
- The Republicans in Congress want nothing more than to defeat Obama and have become the Opposite Party. They oppose things they previously supported only because Obama is for them. The law they refer to as “Obamacare” was proposed by Republicans in the 90’s, for example.
If you believe these two things, it follows that Republicans would choose harming the economy to win in 2012 over doing the right thing for their country and losing.