Via: Ludwig von Mises Institute
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 by John P. Cochran
Do you ever get the feeling that no one in the Washington power elite is willing to seriously deal with the major economic threat to future prosperity facing the United States today: mounting government debt and the associated deficits? The problem, as pointed out by Murray Rothbard over 20 years ago:
Deficits and a mounting debt, therefore, are a growing and intolerable burden on the society and economy, both because they raise the tax burden and increasingly drain resources from the productive to the parasitic, counterproductive, “public” sector. Moreover, whenever deficits are financed by expanding bank credit—in other words, by creating new money—matters become still worse, since credit inflation creates permanent and rising price inflation as well as waves of boom-bust “business cycles.”
In 1992, when Rothbard wrote the above, the US debt was approaching $4 trillion (now nearing $17 trillion) and Federal Reserve policy was relatively benign compared to the current quantitative easing, which is effectively monetizing a significant portion of newly created government debt. The “peace dividend” from the end of the Cold War and the false prosperity from two Fed-created economic booms made the problem appear less urgent and allowed politicians to kick the can down the road. A solution is now urgent, but not likely. David Henderson’s “Must Default Be Avoided at All Costs?” is a great place to start in order to reinvigorate a serious discussion on a moral approach to shrinking the size of the federal government down to a less destructive level.
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