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Reply #5: No, the anti-deficit thing is not "mass-hysteria". [View All]

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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-10 11:25 AM
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5. No, the anti-deficit thing is not "mass-hysteria".
Though some around here consider Democrat deficits to be superior to Republican ones - when interest on the national debt is the second largest federal expenditure after defense, there's a problem.

"The numbers? The deficit in fiscal year 2004 -- $413 billion, 3.5 percent of the gross domestic product.

Back then, a disapproving Krugman called the deficit "comparable to the worst we've ever seen in this country. ... The only time postwar that the United States has had anything like these deficits is the middle Reagan years, and that was with unemployment close to 10 percent." Take away the Social Security surplus spent by the government, he said, and "we're running at a deficit of more than 6 percent of GDP, and that is unprecedented."

He considered the Bush tax cuts irresponsible and a major contributor -- along with two wars -- to the deficit. But he also warned of the growing cost of autopilot entitlements: "We have the huge bulge in the population that starts to collect benefits. ... If there isn't a clear path towards fiscal sanity well before (the next decade), then I think the financial markets are going to say, 'Well, gee, where is this going?'"

<>

Fast-forward to 2010.

The numbers: projected deficit for fiscal year 2010 -- over $1.5 trillion, more than 10 percent of GDP.

This sets a post-WWII record in both absolute numbers and as a percentage of GDP. And if the Obama administration's optimistic projections of the economic growth fall short, things will get much worse. So what does Krugman say now?

We must guard against "deficit hysteria." In "Fiscal Scare Tactics," his recent column, Krugman writes: "These days it's hard to pick up a newspaper or turn on a news program without encountering stern warnings about the federal budget deficit. The deficit threatens economic recovery, we're told; it puts American economic stability at risk; it will undermine our influence in the world. These claims generally aren't stated as opinions, as views held by some analysts but disputed by others. Instead, they're reported as if they were facts, plain and simple."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/02/11/kr...
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