The Corner

Not Far Enough

I’m wading through the Powerpoint of the deficit-reduction committee. While it doesn’t seem to pull punches on how desperate our fiscal condition has become, I can already see it’s not going far enough. Their goal is to eliminate annual federal deficits in 30 years! They have also set a long-term goal of reducing federal tax revenues to 21 percent of GDP. While that’s much lower than now, we need to get federal, state, and local government spending to below 20 percent if we really want to promote growth, according to the late economist Gerald Scully. Even more radical fiscal surgery will be needed if we really want to get a handle on federal spending.

Samuel R. Staley — Mr. Staley is director of urban-growth and land-use policy at the Reason Foundation and teaches urban and regional economics at the University of Dayton.


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