The Corner

Small Deficit

Look, I wish that President Bush—and, more important, Republican and Democratic congressmen—were tougher on spending too. I think he should have vetoed the farm bill to force Congress to send him a smaller one. But that’s because I want a smaller federal government, not because I care about the deficit. Many voters, it’s true, tell pollsters that they care about deficits. But how much do they care? When has it been an issue independent of the state of the economy? When has anyone ever lost an election for cutting taxes too much?

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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