Deficit's Not a Dirty Word

'There's smart debt and stupid debt'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2010 4:00 AM CST
Deficit's Not a Dirty Word
"Because we never face up to how much we need government to do, there is a pathetic quality to our discussion of big deficits," Dionne writes.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – The debate over the deficit is being crippled by a failure to face up to what we need the government to do, writes EJ Dionne Jr. To have a rational debate about the budget, lawmakers should admit that running a deficit during a time of high unemployment is a good thing, and that government is going to have to grow in the coming decade to make up for private sector shortfalls in health insurance and pensions, Dionne argues in the Washington Post.

story continues below

America needs to sort out its finances, but it also needs to invest heavily to keep the country competitive, Dionne warns. The debate on debt should be candid about the country's priorities, and the need to pay for them, he writes. Government spending that will mean a better future for the country should be financed over time, "much as successful companies use debt for long-term investments," he writes. "There's smart debt and there's stupid debt. We need to recognize the difference." (Read more budget deficit stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.