Gridlock at the Worst Time
By Arnold Kling
More and more laws will be frozen in place. This already seems to be the case with immigration policy. More and more expenditures will be frozen into place. Politics will become more symbolic, and in some ways more disgusting, in response to the absence of real issues to argue over.
Recently, I pointed to polling data showing that American voters now want to see leaders who will stick to their principles rather than compromise. It seems likely that the election in six weeks will give them their wish. That means that each political party will have the capability and the will to veto proposals from the other party. It means that bipartisan proposals, such as might come out of the deficit-reduction commission, are dead on arrival.
Libertarians used to see gridlock as a good thing. However, now that the evident need is for major reductions in the path of spending, this is in fact the worst possible time to have gridlock. Tyler foresees a sovereign debt crisis for the United States some time in the next twenty years. As you know, I share that outlook. Thus, the idea that we can learn from a chart that projects the fiscal outlook to the year 2080 is delusional.