Why I Would Not Have Signed on to a Letter Endorsing Simpson-Bowles as the Starting Point for Long-Term Budget Negotiations
UPDATE: DeLong Smackdown Watch: In my inbox right now:
Perhaps it would be better not to criticize them for showing up late to the party, but to embrace the fact they are there at all? We do need Republican support to actually get the deficit under control.
Because I do not have an answer to this, from Duncan Black:
Eschaton: There's literally nothing that this Congress today can do to reduce the deficit 20 years from now. What you can do is sign into law legislation which reduces granny's pension 20 years from now. And, yes, given the way our system works it wouldn't necessarily be easy to reverse that decision 20 years from now depending on the politics and who is in power. But what will still be easy to do 20 years from now is cutting taxes on rich people and writing giant checks to defense contractors. Those things are always easy to do when Congress and their donors are mostly rich people. Reduce the deficit by cutting granny's pension, increase it again by cutting taxes on rich people. Rinse repeat...
And Duncan says some very true things:
It'd be one thing if there was anything out there suggesting that borrowing costs were going to spike. But there isn't.... As long as we're in a recession... [the] message [ought to be]... "we should borrow a large amount of money basically for free and spend it on jobs and boosting aggregate demand."... Worrying about problems 10-20 years from now is worrying about things you have almost precisely zero control over....
[J]ust to remind us of history I'm sure we all remember. That Democratic Socialist Bill Clinton got rid of the deficit. Alan Greenspan, who spent years fretting about the deficit, suddenly decided the great danger we faced was not having a deficit. And Bush tax cuts, and too and such.