Sunday, January 20, 2013

Solving the Public Debt Issue for Dummies

OK, everyone, please pay attention:

Raising the ceiling on our public debt is about paying bills already incurred.

By all means: Cut future spending. Raise future taxes. Do what Bill Clinton did to turn budget deficits into budget surpluses. It slows the increase of, then stops the growth of, and - eventually- reduces the size of the public debt.

Deficit budgets lead to burgeoning debt. They are solved by surplus budgets.

The public debt is a particularly stupid crow bar with which to try to pry future spending cuts out of the budget writers at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

The cure (diminution of trust in the Full Faith and Credit of the U.S. government) is infinitely worse than the disease (a level of public debt that's about the same, as a percentage of GDP, as at the end of WWII).

Now, can we please talk about:

Things on the taxation side of the ledger like:

corporate welfare,
incentives to expatriate profits, and
special treatment for capital gains,


Things on the spending side of the ledger, like

earmarks for pet projects,
means-testing for public benefits allocated to people with incomes over $250K, and
legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana.

This stuff ain't brain surgery, folks.