Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hanna, Chocola and Blackwell, Fiscal Fantasy in the Wall Street Journal

Shouldn’t This Belong In the Magazine “Amazing Science Fiction” – No. It is Science Fiction But It is Not Amazing

In the same editorial section where Alan Blinder was making a medium sized policy prescription error three erstwhile Conservatives were making a giant blunder of a policy prescription.  Colin Hanna, Chris Chocola and Ken Blackwell

[Mr. Hanna is president of Let Freedom Ring USA. Mr. Chocola, a former congressman from Indiana, is president of the Club for Growth. Mr. Blackwell, a former secretary of state of Ohio, is president of Pass the BBA.]

were setting fourth three policy ideas for dealing with the federal deficit.

1.      Cut Spending:  They recommend cutting the deficit in half, about a $600 billion to $800 billion cuts in spending next year.  Like every other spending cutter, they do not list any programs that they would cut, knowing full well that as soon as the program cuts are listed people stop reading and start voting against them. (Do we need a Constitutional Amendment in which we require that anyone who proposes cutting federal spending has to actually name a program that would be cut?)

2.      Automatic spending reductions if Federal Spending goes over 18% of GDP.  Again, no statement of where cuts would be made, how it would be practical to cut mid-program and when in the fiscal year the cuts would be made.

3.      A Balanced Budget Amendment:  Ok now we’re talking.  $1.6 billion in cuts at current levels.  As The Dismal Political Economist has shown, even if you cut all social spending you barely get halfway to the goal of a balanced budget.

Ironically,  Mr. Chocola is President of the Club for Growth, and if his policies were enacted there would be no growth.  The Dismal Political Economist wonders if he knows.

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