Friday, April 22, 2011

CATO Institute on the Need for a Credible Commitment on Debt

From the YouTube description:
Will raising the debt limit signal to markets what we want? Or will it signal an unwillingness to deal with tough decisions on spending and debt in the near term? Cato Institute Senior Fellow Jagadeesh Gokhale suggests that refusing to raise the debt limit (until programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are reformed) could signal to markets a greater willingness to deal with long-term fiscal issues sooner rather than later.
More at CATO:
The U.S. is now facing daunting fiscal challenges. The poor prospects of crucial fiscal reforms provoked Standard and Poor's Monday to revise its long-term outlook on the U.S. economy from "stable" to "negative."

Many knowledgeable federal officials, like Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, as well as left-leaning lawmakers, insist that the answer lies in lifting the debt limit. They warn Congress about the dire consequences if it fails to do so. President Barack Obama has chimed in — though he voted against raising it when he was a senator.

They all assert that failing to increase the debt limit could sharply undermine the economic recovery.

But that view could be wrong. A temporarily frozen debt limit could instead signal U.S. lawmakers' resolve to get our fiscal house in order. It may even reassure investors about long-term U.S. economic prospects.
Read the whole thing.

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