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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press NPR Tells Us How Much Deficit Reduction We Need

NPR Tells Us How Much Deficit Reduction We Need

Monday, 19 September 2011 05:11

NPR told listeners that the $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction being sought by the congressional super committee is inadequate, that in fact we need $4 trillion. It's great that they got the word from God on this one.

Those of us who look at numbers might think otherwise. The financial markets are saying loudly that there is no problem with current deficits, otherwise they would not be lending money to the United States for 10 years at interest rates of just 2.0 percent. The numbers also offer many examples of countries with (including the United States) which have had much larger debt to GDP ratios and have had no problem borrowing in financial markets.

The piece concluded by telling listeners that we may end up going 14 months until the next election without getting much done. Actually, for people who pay attention to the economy, the main way in which we are not getting much done is in reducing the unemployment rate. This is far and away the most important problem facing the economy in the minds of the vast majority of the public, even if not at NPR.

It is also worth noting that the failure to reduce the unemployment rate will reduce capacity and employment in the long-term. This was pointed out by Paul Krugman in a column today and by David Rosnick in a blogpost last week.

Comments (4)Add Comment
written by bailey, September 19, 2011 7:01
I hope you'll do a follow-up at FDL (& appear to pass the word on many other venues as well). Your efforts deserve critical thought & consideration that pushes conversation forward. In the meantime, is it possible to share your upcoming media appearances?
written by Jim In Panama, September 19, 2011 9:05
I really enjoyed reading the Rosnick post (thanks for the link). I especially enjoyed Rosnick's concluding line:

"Perhaps some of this will enter into policymakers thinking the next time a multi-trillion-dollar bubble comes around."

THAT was hysterical, policymakers "thinking"? Like that ever happens. Too funny. Thanks
written by Bloix, September 19, 2011 9:51
Dean, may I beg you to proof more carefully? I like to forward your posts along to friends who still trust the Post, Times, and NPR, and I really can't do so with posts that have dropped words in the first sentence, as this one and the prior one do.
The Glass is Half Empty Except When It's Half Full
written by izzatzo, September 19, 2011 9:53
Also on NPR next week is a new show about cost benefit analysis of deficits and debt called Half Empty or Half Full Does Not a Balanced Budget Make.

Stupid liberals.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.