Kent, Yes, forgiving all debt every seven years sounds great if you borrow
money. It doesn't sound too great if you lend it. Can I borrow some money
from you in six years? Good luck trying to get a mortgage or other loan for
longer than 7 years.Just like raising the minimum wage sounds great
for people who currently don't add more than $7.25 per hour in value to
their job until they are layed off by their employer who can't pay them $10
for the same work.Free health care sounds great for those who
receive it, not so for those who pay for it.Etc., etc., etc....
My devious hope is that Rmoney wins and the Tea Party agenda prevails in both
houses. That way we will finally see the disastrous effects of their economic
proposals and they will be forever relegated to the dustbin of political
history.If Obama wins, we'll continue our tepid economic
recovery until the next inevitable downswing. If the economy holds together for
another four years, the ultra-right would then still be able to make the case
that their program should be tried, simply because it hasn't been tried,
regardless of how irrational and suicidal it is.But things look
bleak economically no matter who wins. We need to raise taxes to their post-WWII
levels, cut defense spending, and do some serious means-testing with Social
Security and Medicare. We can't do any of this suddenly, though, or the
economy will contract immediately and throw us into a death spiral. We truly are
in a tight spot. Maybe we should just do as the Law of Moses requires and
forgive all debt every seven years.
The truth is even worse than Samuelson describes it. He doesn't even hint
at the $222 trillion in off-budget and unfunded liabilities hanging over the
economy. There is a government default in our future regardless of what we do.
The politicians elected in November will be blamed, so it might be wise to vote
for the party you dislike most. That's why I hope the
Keynesians get their way to spend like we're at war with alien invaders
(that's what the "brilliant" Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul
Krugman recommends). That way, their philosophy will be so thoroughly
discredited that it will go the way of Marxist economics into the dustbin of
It is sad. We want to be told the truth, but usually elect the best liar.
Truth sounds a whole lot like that other word our politicians have a problem
with - compromise.