Thursday, June 7, 2012

How close to the cliff?

Bill Clinton made some news in a recent interview with CNBC's Maria Bartiromo. But one line in particular stood out to me:
And what I think we need to do is find some way to avoid the fiscal cliff, to avoid doing anything that would contract the economy now, and then deal with what's necessary in the long term debt reduction plan as soon as they can, which would presumably be after the election. 
Catch the apparent contradiction? Clinton expresses concern of the economy going over a cliff and seems to say so with a degree of urgency, but rather than advocate immediate response, he seems to prioritize more extend and pretend.

If politicians aren't serious about deficits now, why would they get serious after the election? Clinton seems to advocate a very brief extension of the Bush tax cuts. But only for a matter months, not even for another year.

Sounds to me like he's pushing an economic gimmick that might give a pre-election economic pop, but one that would further mask how dire things are right now. Voters need a greater understanding of America's economic crisis before the election, not a gimmick that pushes their enlightenment back past election day.

I think we're closer to the cliff than many realize.

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