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Mort Zuckerman vs The National Debt

August 30, 2010

This editorial by Mort Zuckerman makes some sense, other than the title and the end of it, which is the same as the title.

But though the decisions made may have been unwise or misguided, I wouldn’t characterize them as irresponsible. Maybe Zuckerman’s referring to other issues but the stimulus and bailouts and all those measures were to deal with an emergency. I don’t think it’s fair to call that irresponsible, even if it was the wrong thing to do; even if it didn’t work in other words.

Some commenters point out the great contribution the Bush administrations made to this debt, with the gratuitous tax cuts during a time when we actually had a surplus, with the unpaid-for Medicare part D bill, and of course two unpaid-for wars. As I mention above, however, most of the piece isn’t as inflammatory as the title. I think Mort is just trying to stir things up with the “most fiscally irresponsible” charge.

Anyway, the government, sometimes spoken about as some distant, independent entity, is still, despite a host of systemic flaws, an extension of the people of this country and as commenter ejr1953 of MD correctly states: “I’ve always been concerned about deficit spending, but let’s get real, blaming the folks in Washington, when Americans won’t approach the real causes, entitlement & military spending (80% of the Federal budget), no one wanting to give on their entitlements, it’s really our fault for living above our means and expecting others to pay for it.”

Politicians pander for a reason.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 30, 2010 1:00 pm

    It’s funny how no one remembers
    1. the Dot Com massive crash
    2. the 9/11 terrorist attacks and subsequent negative shock to the economy

    Bush’s tax cuts were in response to the wreckage he inherited from Clinton, and to the attacks, which were a major blow to the airline and travel industries, among others. It could easily have been a lost decade, but Bush responded with tax cuts, including on capital gains to encourage entrepreneurialism.

    And it worked, notwithstanding the excesses of corrupt mortgage lenders, Wall Street firms, ratings agencies, and the like.

  2. A. Strung permalink*
    August 30, 2010 6:07 pm

    Whether all that is true or not, it helped to create a massive deficit. The national debt as an issue isn’t the same as the economy. The point is the government under Bush was far from fiscally responsible.

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