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Bob Bixby: The U.S. Is So Close to Falling Into “Deadbeat” Status

July 18th, 2011 . by economistmom

Here’s a Bloomberg interview of my boss, Bob Bixby. Bob explains that policymakers have made so little progress in terms of fiscal responsibility that even the motions they’re making to appear fiscally responsible–such as proposing a balanced budget amendment–are quite the opposite, because they only serve to distract policymakers from actually making the necessary (and tougher) policy choices. He also emphasizes that the unsustainable debt is a far greater threat to the economy than the revenue increases or spending cuts it would take to actually get to sustainability, labeling suggestions to the contrary as “silly.” It’s a great interview that well represents the Concord Coalition’s perspective on the debt limit issue.

UPDATE Tuesday, 11 am: Here’s Concord’s just-released policy statement on the balanced budget amendment proposal.

2 Responses to “Bob Bixby: The U.S. Is So Close to Falling Into “Deadbeat” Status”

  1. comment number 1 by: Becky Hargrove

    I am glad you take this issue seriously, for not enough people are able to think about what unsustainable debt really means. Now is the time to formulate arguments and potential solutions for people will only panic if the U.S. defaults. Most importantly, not only is this an economic issue but also cultural. If government cannot continue to provide additional freedoms to families with these extensive social programs, how can people keep the cultural freedoms they enjoyed through their own efforts? There are ways to make it happen, the dialogue just needs to start.

  2. comment number 2 by: Gipper

    Oh, please. What difference is there between paying bond holders $1 billion and paying soy bean farmers $1 billion? What’s the economic difference?

    This fascination with debt is merely a ruse to browbeat Republicans into raising taxes. And Republicans fall for it, even proposing a laughable Balanced Budget Ammendment, which is laughable because there will be so many escape clauses, that it will be meaningless.

    The key conflict has to do with the percentage of GDP spent by the federal government. The deficit is a side show to this clash of ideologies. The debt limit vote is merely a tool Republicans can use to extract concessions from Democrats.

    The Republicans don’t care a wit about the deficit. However, I’m glad to see them for the first time EVER actually making a strong argument to reduce federal spending as a percentage of GDP. We can thank the Tea Party for pushing the Bush/Rove compassionate conservatism nonsense that yielded Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind out of the Republican mainstream.