Thursday, June 11, 2009

Quotes of the day

My obituary’s written. And that is a very hard thing to live with.--Elliot Spitzer

As long as the deficit is less than inflation + GDP growth, the government is unlikely to get into much trouble. ... The problem with the budget deficit is not any particular program, or even any particular tax cuts. It is not that George Bush or Obama is a bad person who does bad things. The problem with the budget deficit is that, unlike the deficits George Bush ran, the deficits projected under Obama (and beyond) are actually large enough to potentially precipitate a fiscal crisis. If our interest rates suddenly spiked up, perhaps because lenders were worried about the size of our budget deficits, we'd find ourselves in the kind of nasty fiscal jam that regularly plagues third-world countries. The difference is, no one has enough money to bail us out. ... Obama is the one who will have to prevent this. Yet instead of plans, we're getting fairy numbers from the OMB. That's worrying, and it's sure not George W. Bush's fault. His OMB liked to inflate the deficit projections, so that they could take credit for a mostly imaginary reduction.--Megan McArdle

Some things in politics you can't make up, such as President Obama's re-re-endorsement Tuesday of "pay-as-you-go" budgeting. Coming after $787 billion in nonstimulating stimulus, a $410 billion omnibus to wrap up fiscal 2009, a $3.5 trillion 2010 budget proposal, sundry bailouts and a 13-figure health-care spending expansion still to come, this latest vow of fiscal chastity is like Donald Trump denouncing self-promotion. ... The main political question now is when Americans will start to figure out Mr. Obama's pattern of spend, repent and repeat. The President is still sailing along on his charm and the fact that Americans are cheering for an economic recovery. But eventually they'll see that he isn't telling them the truth, and when they do, the very Blue Dogs he's trying to protect will pay the price. And they'll deserve what they get.--WSJ Editorial Board

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