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Hipopolorum and Lopopohirum

Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:


George Will eloquently summarizes why he’s pessimistic about the prospects of reining in the perilous growth of U.S. government spending (“Quadrillion-dollar national debt? Chew, don’t nibble, on this math.,” Feb. 12): “The only adequate savings – savings commensurate with the structural debt crisis – require structural reforms of entitlement programs. Politically risky things cannot, however, be done in election years or years immediately preceding election years, which are the only years there are.”

Indeed. And so Republicans, despite (sometimes) posing as budget hawks, will not seriously counter Democrats’ fiscal incontinence.

As Thomas Sowell observes,

If the Democrats came up with a plan for all Americans to jump off a thousand-foot cliff tomorrow, some Republicans would come up with an “alternative’ plan in which we would all jump off a 500-foot cliff next week.*

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030

* Thomas Sowell, Barbarians Inside the Gates (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 1999), page 249.

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