As we head toward the end of the year, the media’s fixation with the congressionally imposed “fiscal cliff” will reach a fever pitch and no doubt become a major factor in the presidential campaign. The danger is supposed to arise from the simultaneous implementation of $2 trillion in automatic spending “cuts” (in reality, just reductions in the rate by which federal spending increases) and the expiration of the George W. Bush-era tax rates. Most economists fear that higher taxes and slower increases in federal spending will combine to send us back into recession. Despite the hand-wringing, it is certain that the lame-duck Congress will slap together a late-December, last-minute, can-kicking compromise that will buy time at the expense of long-term solvency. Any success in wriggling out of this particular budgetary straitjacket will just make it more certain that we head straight for another, larger, fiscal cliff that is hiding in plain sight.
As it is constructed currently, the U.S. budget will be completely and thoroughly upended when interest rates approach levels that would be considered normal by historical standards. A mere 5 percent rate portends a clear and present danger to the budgetary priories of the United States.
Read the rest here
The Washington Times
Articles | Website