After watching the spectacle of the last few weeks of a handful of radicals pummeling a weakling president over raising the federal debt ceiling to avoid a possible default, like most Americans, I shook my head in disbelief.
Then I began to wonder what I would suggest to solve the problem. As I’ve written before, I would prefer to balance the budget and retire our debt through spending discipline alone. But it’s not realistic.
In public opinion polls, Americans talk a good game about small government, but when pollers frame the question in terms of specific programs to be cut, support for slashing public-sector spending drops significantly. So I really don’t think the political will exists to cut spending enough to balance the budget. Few politicians are willing to risk losing an election by pushing granny off the cliff.
That means, when the economy finally recovers, taxes will need to be increased. I’m willing to pay more but only if there are guarantees that the extra revenue will be used to retire the debt — not to start new programs or expand existing ones. Is Congress capable of keeping such a promise? Am I being naive?
Oh, here’s an idea to save $7 billion a year. Stop subsidizing the goddamned post office!