So why do I have this sinking feeling? 10 years ago, 5 years ago even, we could have afforded these essential items. But now, can we?
A couple items. Even Paul Krugman, the preeminent liberal economist, has some concerns about the debt this will put us in:
That wouldn’t be an extremely high debt level by international standards, but it would be the deepest in debt America has been since the years immediately following World War II. And it would leave us with considerably reduced room for maneuver if another crisis comes along.
Hmmmmmm. Gee I can't think of another crisis that could harm America's economy going forward. Except Peak Oil. Crap, thats a bummer.
And then Andrew Sullivan passes this along from a reader:
I see in Table 8.8 of the budget that the White House assumes real GDP growth of 3.2% in 2010, 4.0% in 2011, 4.6% in 2012 and 4.2% in 2013. I leave it to your imagination what the deficits would be if they had made more realistic assumptions.
I, for one, thing that kind of growth will never happen in the next four years. Its la-la land.
So I don't know. Health care reform, education reform, and cap and trade all have to happen. They have to. But it seems like we are going to have to cut something else. Something big. But what can that be, at a time of economic crisis?
I remember after the stimulus bill passed, a reporter asked Obama what he would have done differently. He said something like "maybe I should have started out the bill with no tax cuts, and then let the republicans put in the tax cuts so they could claim victory on that." My hope is that he is pursuing that strategy with the budget. But its going to take a lot of good work by Congress. Pelosi and the republicans are going to have to work together and compromise.
I don't know if I have much hope in that.