America Has ‘Deficit-attention Disorder’

July 21, 2014

Christopher DeMuth has a good line in the current issue of National Review:

I am in the camp of the deficit hawks such as Feldstein and Kotlikoff, but I do not think the reason we are failing to address the problem is that some other smart and influential people are deficit doves.  Rather, I think that our political institutions and political leaders have accommodated themselves to deficit spending and growing debt and acquired a stake in their continuance.  Disagreements over the consequences and immediacy of the problem are always resolved in favor of borrowing more to address the problems of the moment and deferring “debt consolidation” (through some combination of higher taxes, lower spending, and higher economic growth) to a later time.  The American body politic has acquired deficit-attention disorder.

(Full article is available here.  If you don’t subscribe, you should, but if not, you can read NR articles à la carte on demand for 25¢ each.)

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