November 27, 2012
The Unmentionable Solution to the Fiscal Cliff
Watch public policy even for a short while and the trick becomes evident. Whether we're talking my hometown of Tiverton, Rhode Island, (population 15,780) or the federal government, the maneuver is to claim increasing amounts of power and make sure that's the one thing not on the table when something has to give.
Thus, we get massive government interwoven like a terrible tumor around the vital organs of our economy. When the predictable illness follows, the two operations suggested, as if in opposition, are cuts on the spending side and increases on the revenue side.
Either, we're told, is apt to drive the patient into shock. The government can take money out of the economy through taxes, or it can stop putting money into the economy via cuts. That's not much of a choice.