If the economy ever recovers, people may be surprised at how little they have to argue about.
The fundamental issue driving most political debate these days involves the role of the government in responding to a weak economy.
While the issue often is presented as a debate between conservatives and liberals, it really is not. Most economists, regardless of party affiliation, believe deficit spending is both appropriate and necessary when private-sector demand lags.
Consumer spending collapsed in 2008, and it has not fully recovered. The federal government responded with a stimulus package that kept the United States from enduring as severe a recession as many European nations continue to endure, but it was not large enough to overcome the drop in demand. The collapse in consumer spending also caused a steep decline in spending by state governments, resulting in the most severe recession since the Great Depression. The heated debates in Congress have more to do with timing than philosophy. Many in both parties recognize the economic logic of deficit spending when private-sector demand slumps. Republicans who understand the importance of stimulus have to pretend otherwise because they are afraid to sound liberal.
One day, unemployment will be down to 5.2 percent and the gross domestic product will be growing at a healthy rate. It may be a day of complete quiet. The vast majority of Americans will find, to their shock, they agree with each other. Almost everyone agrees government spending needs to drop. The question — which is one of economics, not political philosophy — is whether spending cuts make sense when the economy is ailing.
Not registered? Click here
|High School Sports||@DecaturPreps|