Attention Congress: Do Nothing at All, Deficit Disappears


    For everyone out there who claims (falsely) that the ridiculous “Supercommittee” is the answer, or that failure of said ridiculous “Supercommittee” (or the even more ridiculous “Gang of Six”) would be a really bad thing, look at that graph for 10 seconds and read this excellent analysis by Ezra Klein. Bottom line: if our fine representatives in Washington, DC simply “do nothing, or pay for the things they choose to do, the deficit mostly disappears.”

    That’s it, end of story. Only Republicans and “blue dog”/”radical centrist” (the latter phrase being utterly meaningless) Democrats could possibly find that a difficult concept to grasp. In other words, the deficit essentially disappears if only Congress doesn’t f*** it up by…well, doing something! Pretty funny on one level, pretty pitiful on most others.

    • RoyB

      Well, yeah, because you are going to cut a lot of spending. I wish Obama had thought of this before he released his 2011 proposal that would have increased the deficit by over $20 BILLION. I’m glad that he saw the error of his ways and realized that the Republican party has been correct the entire time. We need to reduce spending, remove tax loopholes, end corporate welfare, and focus on conservative fiscal management.

      If only our Campaigner in Chief would focus on real issues and not his reelection campaign, then we wouldn’t have these horrible mix ups. The President could have saved a lot of headache by working with Republicans early on (as he said he would do) to reduce the deficit.

      In short, you are correct, the Super Committee shouldn’t do anything so we can have these cuts to spending. I wish the President was as pragmatic as many Republicans (and your “blue dog/radical centrists”) in Congress.  

    • kindler

      To me, it means that the Dems finally have the political leverage here — if we’re gutsy enough to use it.  Instead of the Repubs holding the US credit rating hostage (and leaving the hostage wounded), Dems can now hold the Bush tax cuts hostage and say: if you don’t agree to some tax increases, then they all have to go up — and you’ll be blamed for protecting the rich at everyone else’s expense.

      The other very interesting thing to watch will be what happens to the relationship between the military constituency and the GOP if they force the trigger to go off and cause big defense spending cuts.  Sorry, soldier — we care more about tax cuts for corporate jet owners and oil companies than about you and your health care, body armor, etc.

      All that said, Ezra is right that budget cutting via the trigger mechanism would be a messy affair.  But we don’t have to run away in fear from that outcome — not as much as the Repubs do.