It's good to start the morning with a laugh, isn't it? Sometimes it can carry you through the whole day in a lighter mood. Of course, there's also the cynical, "you've got to be kidding me" chuckle, which sets a slightly different tone. The second is what I felt a few minutes ago when I opened my NY Times and saw this headline, one I've been waiting to see from someone for months:
One Way to Trim Deficit: Cultivate Growth
By DAVID LEONHARDT
Economic growth, if it is not cut, would go a long way toward reducing the deficit.
Well, no kidding. I especially like the "if it's not cut" part. From someone who has recently been pounding the austerity drum, this is quite a breakthrough.
Why Democrats haven't been saying jobs=deficit reduction on a loop, I don't know. I guess they figure it's just too complicated to explain that when people aren't working they aren't paying taxes so the government doesn't have as much money. If government spends money to help people get back to work, it will be paid back when those people get jobs and pay their taxes. Et voila, deficit reduction. (See: "the 1990s")
Obviously, health care costs need to be controlled long term, and who knows if it's possible to get that level of growth again. But this current so-called crisis is a growth problem, first and foremost, and if the government would do the virtuous job of stimulating the economy to create jobs, they would also be creating policies to reduce the deficit. As Sarah Palin would say, it's just "common sense."