Friday, March 4, 2011

Here's something I don't understand

If, as Republicans seem to insist, cutting spending doesn't create a drag on the economy, why haven't we done it already? We'd surely be better off with less debt, particularly if having less debt didn't entail any sacrifice. All the incentives would point in the same direction. Is it just the irrational liberal attachment to bloated government that's holding us back?

Of course, to be fair, Republicans always do refer nebulously to "shared sacrifice" when they talk about cutting spending. So what are they talking about, anyway? If sacrifice in this case means "getting less money," and we're all sharing it... well, that sounds like an economic problem to me.

Okay, so I lied when I said this is something I don't understand. Because I think I do, a bit. It comes down to a national economic policy that's rooted in a Home Economics worldview. Moderation is good, and won't be punished. But we must pay penance for our past profligacy. A person who subscribes to these ideas will quite logically settle on the otherwise fairly irrational notion that spending less will make us better off, but only after a good bout of shared suffering.

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