The Sovereign Mind

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Posts Tagged ‘deficit

Obama’s First Broken Promise?

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President-elect Barack Obama talked said today that fixing the economy is our highest priority. Jared Bernstein, Obama’s economic adviser, describes how he would use government spending to do it:

“Government is the most reliable source of short-term growth, the only part of GDP pulling out its wallet these days. There is a time for budget austerity – this ain’t it.”

I didn’t hear much from Obama or Bernstein today about what programs would be cut to pay for this spending, or how much taxes would need to be raised. I can only assume that they are talking about increasing deficit spending here. There are valid arguments to be made for increasing spending during an economic crisis, even it if means I higher deficit. So I’m not so much against this way of thinking.

However, we read this from Obama’s campaign website:

Obama and Biden believe that a critical step in restoring fiscal discipline is enforcing pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budgeting rules which require new spending commitments or tax changes to be paid for by cuts to other programs or new revenue.

I can hear the spin now: “This is an unusual circumstance that calls for bending the rules” or “Obama was stating his guideline, but not making a firm promise.”

But the bottom line is that Obama said he would restore fiscal responsibility, and in fact railed against the Bush administration for increasing the national debt, and now it appears Obama might do the same. Obama could argue his deficit spending is justifiable, but then so could Bush, considering what he had to deal with.

However, since this was just a statement by Obama’s economic adviser, and not by Obama himself, I’m prepared to withhold my judgment for now. But it appears as though he is preparing to break one of the campaign promises I was actually hoping he would keep, and before the inauguration at that.

H/T to Donklephant.


Written by Mike

November 7, 2008 at 11:32 pm