University of Maryland economics professor Peter Morici takes both parties to task over the issue of budget reform, saying neither side is facing up to the reality of the situation and the challenges. His last line is actually the most telling (we journos would say he buried the lede): “Americans really need adults to govern but few can be found on either side of Pennsylvania Avenue.”
Ain’t that the truth?
The Budget Follies: Demagoguery and Sophistry Reign
Federal finances are in shambles, and Americans should be amused if not disgusted by the explanations and solutions both political parties offer.
The President’s budget plan issued in February projects a $1.6 trillion deficit for 2011 and a cumulative shortfall of $11 trillion through 2021.
Things may get worse, as additional revenue and cost savings from health care reforms don’t materialize and the 4 percent growth assumed by the President’s budget for the next four years proves Pollyanna.
Time and again, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama have demagogued the problem, blaming two wars and tax cuts instigated by President Bush and the Great Recession.
To set the record straight, in 2007, the year before the financial crisis, with wars in Afghanistan and Iraq at full tilt and Bush tax cuts in place, the federal deficit was only $161 billion. In 2011, with the economy in its second year of recovery and TARP money returning to the Treasury, the deficit is ten times larger and greater than $1.4 trillion notched in 2009, the pit of the recession.