They Screwed Up The Shutdown, But Republicans Are Right To Insist That Any Increased Borrowing Today Should Require Spending less In The Future

 

 

 

 

 

” Can anyone other than doctrinaire Democrats and members of his immediate family keep a straight face when President Barack Obama insists that he is “prepared to negotiate on anything” while simultaneously saying that “until we make sure that Congress allows Treasury to pay for things that Congress itself already authorized, we are not going to engage in a series of negotiations”?

Reining in the national debt is not an accounting fetish, especially when we’re talking about being in the hole to the tune of 100 percent of GDP when it comes both to debt held by the public and intra-governmental IOUs. Sustained and massive levels of debt foist obligations on future generations via future taxes and inflated currency; they also correlate with slower average economic growth. Indeed, even critics of the influential “debt overhang” thesis propounded by Carmen Reinhart, Kenneth Rogoff, and Vincent Reinhart grant that “the average real GDP growth rate for countries carrying a public-debt-to-GDP ratio of over 90 percent is…2.2 percent,” an amount actually below what Reinhart, Rogoff, and Reinhart found in a 2012 paper detailing debt’s correlation with reduced growth. Debt has a habit of spiraling out of control and thus “fragilizing systems,” as Nassim Taleb puts it. When an increasing amount of your income is going to pay down loans taken out by your dead grandparents for stuff that was gone before you were born, you’ve got less cash for your own future.