Wednesday, June 6, 2012


One of the most profound concepts I encountered in college was "trade-offs."  More of one thing usually means less of something else. I tried, with mixed success, to teach my own kids the value of applying that concept to their own daily choices.

It's obvious that America faces major economic problems and that the solutions require trade-offs. A new CBO report analyzes the choices. We can have reductions in the level of debt by increasing taxes or by draconian cuts in government spending and services, or by some combination of the two. If we insist on immediate action on debt, the economy will surely spiral into another recession. If we delay action, we may lack the political will to act in the future. To me, that argues for a comprehensive bargain that necessarily involves compromises, especially added revenues by Republicans and entitlement reforms by Democrats. I hope both sides are tough enough to bring it off.

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