Doing The Deficit Dance

"Il Ballo" (in English "The Dan...

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There’s lots of talk about cutting the Federal budget deficit. Ho hum. The one thing that everyone seems to agree on is that doing so will be difficult and painful. This makes the politicians sound brave and I’m sure we”ll be hearing a lot about political courage. The New York Times even produced an interactive Web site which is a do it yourself federal budget planner. See? It’s really really tough!

But a funny thing happened on the way to a balanced budget. A lot of bloggers, many of them professional and amateur economists, ran the budget planning site and concluded that reducing the deficit was actually easy and relatively painless. I’m sure they’re right. But they don’t have to deal with special interests and campaign funding. Real politicians do. Until we see some real action, all the talk about deficit reduction is just talk. We’re just dancing around the problem, and the politicians have to dance with the ones that brought them to the party. Don’t expect the dance to end any time soon.

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