Budget Hawk, Stimulus Dove
By Arnold Kling
It’s not my position. But I would think someone would articulate it. It sounds like what Mark Thoma would advocate, for example. That is, someone could advocate:
1 A larger deficit in the short term.
2. Specific, clear measures to reduce deficits over the next ten years, by trimming entitlements and raising taxes.
3. Linking (1) and (2) in a single piece of legislation.
This sort of approach might satisfy doves who complain about austerity as well as Europeans and domestic hawks who worry about the U.S. fiscal outlook. If (2) included some serious structural changes in entitlements I might endorse it.
But my point is not whether this compromise is something I could get excited about. My point is that it represents a missing position in the media. Why are the hawks and doves more interested in trying to score debating points against one another than in achieving their objectives?
[UPDATE: The NYT collects diverse opinions on employment stimulus, from Mark Thoma and Tyler Cowen among others. Also, see Veronique de Rugy on the growth in public sector employment while the private sector shrinks.]