A nuanced view on how to fix the economy

April 20, 2012

Well, if I'm not punched out I will go one more round with Ed on the candidates and the economy.

Ed says macroeconomics offers a clear set of binary choices: You either raise taxes, or lower them; cut spending or increase it, etc.  I think he's right and that's exactly what's wrong.  Dare I say, we need a more nuanced view of how to fix our economy.   

  

We need to raise some taxes — the top rates — and consider some cuts, perhaps in certain kinds of capital investment. We need to "cut" entitlements by means testing eligibility and perhaps by raising the retirement age. We need to cut the defense budget. But we also need to invest more in biomedical research and infrastructure, for example.   We also need some serious symbolic and substantive reforms in government: Consider a pay-and-pension freeze and larger efforts to consolidate departmental functions and force greater productivity gains.

  As long as we stay binary, our choices will be stale and our economy stagnant.  Let's spice it up.

A final note: add my sorrow to those many mourning the death of Levon Helm. When you're in the mood for something that could only be made in America, have a listen.

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