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Debt Ceiling - Frustration With Politics

MoneyI've admitted several times before on this blog that I'm not an expert in economics. So, coming to grips with the debt ceiling debate isn't the easiest thing for me to do. But, from my understanding of what I've heard the past couple years that the economy's been in a recession, it seems to me that both Republicans and Democrats are doing the wrong thing right now.

From what I've read from reputable economists, it seems that the consensus is that the best thing to do during a recession is to spend, and not worry about balancing the budget (only in the short term until recovery, of course). For example, looking to the Great Depression, Roosevelt's New Deal helped some in the recovery, but it was really the massive spending associated with WWII (the gross debt briefly reached over 100% of GDP) that pulled the economy out of the Depression. Japan was one of the least affected countries of the Depression, and also practiced some of the most aggressive Keynesian economic policies.

Looking to the current recession, back almost a year and a half ago, there was good evidence that the original stimulus spending had worked, but that it hadn't been enough, and that more spending would have helped more. I remember wondering back then why there wasn't increased spending, and if the recovery was going to stall out because of it. Well, look at where the economy stands now.

But like I said, I'm not an expert. What do actual economists think? As it turns out, they think what I would have thought based on everything I've heard over the past few years. According to a recent CNN Survey, a majority of the economists polled think that budget cuts shouldn't be implemented until next year, at the earliest, because the economy hasn't sufficiently recovered at this point.

So, we have a bunch of right wingers insisting that we make massive cuts to government spending to balance the budget, a bunch of left wingers calling for increases in taxes to balance the budget, and middle of the roaders calling for compromise to balance the budget. Where are the politicians saying that balancing the budget isn't a priority right now because the economy is still too bad off?

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