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Sat Dec 1, 2012, 05:45 PM

The "Fiscal Cliff" is an austerity crisis - Ezra Klein

"The trouble starts with the term “fiscal cliff,” which misstates the nature of the problem and provides no hint of how to solve it. I prefer the term “austerity crisis,” which at least describes the real issue — too much austerity, imposed too quickly."



http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/01/how-a-sane-political-system-would-deal-with-the-fiscal-cliff/
(emphases my own)

...... Although the problem may be too much austerity too quickly, most everyone in Washington is insisting that the solution should encompass much, much more. In theory, this crisis should be easily resolved: If you have too much austerity, lighten the load. The reason the austerity crisis has become so messy is that the connection between the problem and its solution has been severed.

In fact, proposed solutions inevitably include four or even five distinct categories of policy. There are proposals to address the crisis itself — to reduce the dangerous size and speed of the scheduled deficit reduction in 2013. There are proposals to replace the scheduled deficit reduction with a different set of deficit-reducing tax increases and spending cuts, to be phased in over a longer term. There are policies to redesign the tax code or reform certain entitlements. There’s the need to raise the debt limit, as the Treasury is expected to run out of borrowing authority in February. Finally, there are policies to increase the amount of short-term stimulus and boost infrastructure investment.

So while the proximate problem is too much austerity, too quickly, the solutions being offered address an array of other concerns. Meanwhile, amid these wide-ranging proposals, the conversation in Washington tends to focus exclusively on achieving deficit reduction — even though the economic threat we face in January is too much deficit reduction.

A more sensible approach would deal directly with the problem at hand: the austerity crisis. And that could be defused fairly simply, without doing overly much to harm the deficit. The path would involve identifying policies that pack a big stimulus punch without significantly increasing the deficit. Such “mismatched” policies abound.

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Reply The "Fiscal Cliff" is an austerity crisis - Ezra Klein (Original post)
Bill USA Dec 2012 OP
dixiegrrrrl Dec 2012 #1

Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:41 PM

1. Well, Ezra, all the logic and common sense in the world

will not work since the hidden agenda of more than half of Congress is NOT to solve the deficit problem, but to use it as an excuse to give the 1% even MORE of our money.And to tear down all safety nets, void all social contracts made between the public and the government since 1880.

No, I am not kidding.

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