- Support NDN
Inaction on the Economy, Please
The President is off at Camp David today, trying to figure out how to make the economic situation look better. This comes against a backdrop of some brighter budget deficit figures yesterday. Barring a crunching slowdown the budget deficit should continue to improve over the next year, as one might expect at this point in the economic cycle where tax recipts grow to reflect economic growth. The same is unlikely to be true of trade deficit, where only an economic slowdown, which will lower imports, will make much of a difference. Nonetheless, as the Times writes today, the longer term picture still looks bad. The official figures look bad enough, but if you add in continaution of the tax cuts and scrapping of the AMT - a tax originally deisigned to stop the very rich avoiding paying any tax at all - it looks very, very bad. But we knew most of this before. Normally progressives slap their foreheads and sigh; given figures like this, wouldn't it be good if the President could do more to aid the economy? Perhaps instead we should glance at Paul Krugman's collumn, which mentions the consensus on wages before moving onto the more fraught issue of economic inequality:
I've been studying the long-term history of inequality in the United States. And it's hard to avoid the sense that it matters a lot which political party, or more accurately, which political ideology rules Washington.... It seems likely that government policies have played a big role in America's growing economic polarization -- not just easily measured policies like tax rates for the rich and the level of the minimum wage, but things like the shift in Labor Department policy from protection of worker rights to tacit support for union-busting.
Given this analysis, more Presidential action might not be what the economy needs. Perhaps we might simply ask the President to join his colleagues in the Congress, and do nothing?