Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Doing The Math

Harvard Economist Greg Mankiw offers advice to President-Elect Obama. Here's the bit the struck me most:
during the campaign, you promised that you would cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans, that you would vastly expand health insurance coverage, and that you would never cut Social Security benefits or raise the retirement age. You will almost surely have to renege on some of these promises. As your economic team will often remind you, even if the laws of arithmetic are ignored during campaigns, they provide a real constraint when making actual policy.

One of the best criticisms of the Bush Administration offered by the Left was an attack of borrow-and-spend. So, if Obama is to try to deliver on his campaign promises, how can he do it but to borrow and spend?

btw, Mankiw's had some really good posts lately, including an analysis of the GOP's failure, with the remedy being to run more libertarian. FWIW, he authored the textbook I used in my MBA Econ class.

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