01/18/2011 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Joe Klein: Debt Obsession Ignores Bigger Problem -- The Economy

Again, I'm not opposed to long-term deficit reduction, so long as it's equitable. But I do wonder why these righteous burghers are leading the charge on this particular issue and are so obviously AWOL on a more pressing problem: finding a way to encourage productive investment that creates jobs while discouraging the financial speculation that creates bailouts. For starters, there needs to be a stiff sin tax on speculation. At the very least, the resplendent Olympians should work to put their squalid McMansion in order -- by launching a public-service campaign against excessive executive compensation and devoting their considerable energies to encouraging our smartest young people to go into careers that produce jobs, not deals -- before they're allowed to lecture former assembly-line workers about the sacrifices they have to make in order to balance the budget.

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