The House will vote this week on a Republican proposal allowing the Treasury to borrow funds to pay bondholders and Social Security recipients if there's a prolonged standoff over raising the debt ceiling. But this approach is extremely dangerous.
The gradual erosion of the U.S. dollar's status as the world's reserve currency has been greatly hastened of late. This is due not only to the perpetual gridlock in D.C., but also our government's inability to articulate a strategy to deal with the reported $126 trillion of unfunded liabilities.
We have turned economics into a morality play. Austerians share a visceral contempt for government deficits. They do not just think deficits are bad as a matter of policy; they think deficits are bad, period. But anyone with a cursory knowledge of economic history rejects this narrative.
It all comes down to this, the U.S. government will not be able to service its debt once interest rates normalize, and that will be the sad truth regardless of what voodoo tricks Washington uses to report GDP.
How many times do we hear the forces of doom--primarily from the right wing that wants to end just about everything government does that can help the American people--that we cannot going on "borrowing from China"?
We can no longer ignore the fact that the national debt is becoming so large that just spending more and taxing less, and paying the interest on the ever-increasing resulting debt, can soon bankrupt America.
Much like the 1930s, our slow climb out of the Great Recession has been made all the more difficult thanks to the unwillingness of austerity hawks in Congress to pass the president's jobs bill and other pieces of stimulus legislation.
With the U.S. suffering from the effects of a long and painful recession, the economy is the number one issue for women and men alike going into the 2012 elections. But women arguably have a bigger stake.
We find ourselves several years into a wheezing, anemic "recovery." Public patience has been lost. As colder winds and shorter days make themselves felt, there seems a tangible shiver running down the collective spine.
Few people understand that to balance the budget, or even to bring down the deficits to the rate of growth would require cutting the size of government by at least half and/or nearly eliminating entitlements. It really is true.