Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Debt?

October 22, 2016

The New York Times today has two interesting pieces about whether we should be concerned about the federal budget deficit and the long term indebtedness of the United States.

On the one hand, Paul Volcker (former Chair of the Federal Reserve) and Peter Peterson (former Treasury Secretary) argue, as they have in the past, that a ballooning debt “will create the most significant fiscal challenge facing our country.”  It is imperative we act now, they say.Theirs is an op-ed piece in today’s paper.

On his blog, Paul Krugman (Nobel Prize Winner in Economics and regular Times columnist, scoffs at this “deficit scolding” in response. “Your fear-mongering is distracting us from [the] real problems,” he says, like climate change.

They make different assumptions about what the future portends, but/and the disagreement is interesting and instructive.


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