Washington Post writer/blogger Ezra Klein notes how wrong the Rs, the Right in general , and the craven Dems who went along with the charade were about the deficit. In a followup today, he argues that pressure for deficit reduction comes from interest rates, and those haven’t been as low as currently since 1995.
Republicans, with breath-taking hypocrisy, spent months trumpeting that the deficit was the number one problem facing our nation, and that tax and spending cuts were the way to conquer it.
This was bullshit, of course. Lots of people, such as Post reporter Lori Montgomery, pointed out what the causes of the deficit were. But they were overwhelmed in the public debate, in part due to the corporate-funded Tea Party’s presence and in part due to a cowed administration and said craven Congressional Dems. The Rs no more cared about deficits than the Man in the Moon. This was a flimsy cover for their usual assault on social spending.
And, recall, of course, the earlier Republican mantra, when they were running up historic deficits once they were in charge in 2001: “deficits don’t matter.”
America is not the lousy credit risk the Right said we would become. Ezra makes the point that the markets, so hallowed by the Right, are saying just the opposite. Check his third graf; the actual rate at which the US borrows money has turned negative. In other words, as he puts it, people are essentially paying us to hold onto their money for them.
Paul Krugman (you remember, the guy with the beard and the Nobel Prize) follows up on his blog.
Debt and deficits are important, no question, but the successful manipulation of this matter by the Right has convinced millions that we can get rid of the deficit by cutting taxes and social spending. Nothing could be further from the truth. We get rid of the deficit by getting taxes back to a level that brings the federal government’s budget back into balance, as we had in 2001, and by making investments to gin up the economy so greater tax revenue is generated and there is less pressure on the social safety net, as people will (hopefully) get back to work.
The first piece will continue to be the epicenter of debate this election year. As for the second, with four Americans for every available job and Business seemingly in no hurry to hire workers (or pay them wages similar to what they once had), that could be problematic, wouldn’t you agree?