No, the long-term deficit won’t be easy to fix. Yes, we are doomed.
I have to admit that even an old cynic like me is pretty surprised by the dishonesty of the most recent election cycle. For months and months (and months!) we were treated to one long SKREE! from Tea Party types and their gleeful GOP establishment beneficiaries about the problem of the deficit. The. Greatest. Threat. To. American. Survival. And now, moments after the ballots have been counted, the first order of business is the extension of a tax policy that rips the idea of deficit reduction in half, pisses on its corpse, and burns the evidence to ash. And…crickets. From the Tea Idiots, from the political press (is there a more worthless professional class in modern life?), and even largely from Democrats.
I actually don’t think the deficit should be our first or second or third order of business—and I’m amused that actual deficit-reduction policies (like HCR) are widely reviled and attacked by the lunkheaded fiscal responsibility mob—but it doesn’t seem like very much to ask that those who do think it should be the first, second, and third order of business at least keep their stories straight until John Boehner’s tears have dried.