Sunday, September 4, 2011

Balanced Budget Amendment

Frankly, I don't know why I'm even bothering to write about a balanced budget amendment, because it is now, and always has been, an extraordinarily stupid idea. A balanced budget amendment means that government no longer has access to fiscal policy — and given that monetary policy appears to be totally tapped out at the moment, fiscal is all that's left.

Well, it would be left — if the right-wing crazies were willing to use it — but, no, then the economy might pick up a little and offer a little advantage to the center-right not-quite-so-crazies represented by Our President.

In case anybody reading this is unaware, the states that must balance their budgets tend to do it with tricks — case in point, New Jersey raiding its public employee pension system for a couple of decades — and with federal subsidies. Nobody is going to subsidize the feds, though.

Then, there's that "family" argument. Families do not run balanced budgets, year to year — even the most responsible. Scarcely anybody buys a house or a car without borrowing; and, these days, scarcely anybody gets a higher education without borrowing. They get the economic advantage when they need it, and pay it back over time.

So, just in case you think a balanced budget amendment is a good idea, remember — you're an asshole.

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