Home > mutual respect, politics > The budget deficit: The truth actually doesn’t hurt

The budget deficit: The truth actually doesn’t hurt

November 15, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Many people are having fun playing with the New York Times‘ spiffy budget calculator, giving everyone a chance to take a whack at the budget and see if the deficit can be eliminated.

The answer: Yes, it can. And no, cutting “earmarks” (known in your local district as “things we count on our congresscritter to get us”) won’t really help. Neither will freezes on federal employees or contractors’ pay or hiring.

The budget, according to these figures, can be balanced simply by returning some of our taxes and some of our military spending to Clinton-era levels.

An era in which, coincidentally, we had uninterrupted peace and prosperity. Those tax burdens weren’t holding back the economy.

Surely it couldn’t be so easy, could it? Maybe not, but it goes a long way toward showing how disingenuous the arguments have been.

And that’s because those arguments are generated not from utilitarian ideals but from self-interest. And any serious look at the numbers will show that such self-interest does not spill over into greater happiness for all.

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