I’ll have more to say about the report put out by the chairmen of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, but this section, found on page 6, “Our Guiding Principles and Values”, indicates the lunacy and moral bankruptcy of the commission*:
Bring spending down to 22% and eventually 21% of GDP.
How is this a principle? It’s just a fucking number.
Why can’t the Magick Number be 23 percent? Or twenty six percent? Hell, every European country with the exception of Switzerland spends more than thirty percent of its GDP on government functions.
We should spend what we need to spend, tax what we need to tax**, and not obsess over budget deficits.
Employment deficits, however, are another matter.
*I think Alan Simpson, a batshit lunatic reactionary, brings most of the crazy, while Erskine Bowles, a director of Morgan Stanley, brings most of the moral degeneracy.
**There are two reasons to tax: to reduce inflation (either general, or specific to a sector), or to penalize certain behaviors. If you have a fiat currency that is also used as a global reserve currency, that’s all you need to worry about.