The Washington Post took its unbalanced treatment of the budget to new extremes today with a whole page devoted exclusively to deficit hawks telling us how we should rein in deficits. The lead piece is by Senator Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, the co-chairs of President Obama's deficit commission. This is followed by 5 pieces from deficit hawks.
There was no one pointing out the obvious truths that all budget experts acknowledge:
1) The explosion of the deficit in the last few years was the result of the downtown caused by the collapse of the housing bubble.
2) If the government reduced its deficit any time soon the main result would be slower growth and higher unemployment.
3) The main factor driving the horror stories of an exploding deficit in the long-run is the growth of private sector health care costs. If we paid the same amount per person for health care as people in other wealthy countries we would be looking at huge budget surpluses, not deficits.