Thursday, August 30, 2012

Debt, Deficits and Economic Growth

We hear lots of noise these days about living within our means. That's a great idea.

However, first we need to figure out exactly how we're going to go about doing just that.

We've been used to spending and borrowing for so long now that living within our means simply isn't something we know how to do as a nation. In fact, we have to find a way to both live within our means and live with the accumulated debts we have while reducing our deficits as well.

First, let's state the completely obvious. Substantial and sustained solid economic growth is the only way out of this economic mess. It's also the only way we'll have a legitimate shot at being able to balance the budget and live within our means. And create the millions of jobs that we need to create, too.

In business, it's a simple truism that you can't save or cut your way to prosperity. It's the same with nations. Growth is essential, and it comes from private sector investment, output and productivity gains. That said, over time we can't spend more than we produce. Borrowing to spend can't last forever. The creditors will simply stop lending at some point.

Thus, economic growth is, always has been, and always will be job #1 for America's prosperity. That said, we have to learn how to walk and chew gum at the same time. Thus, cutting our nation's deficits and debt down to some reasonable portion of our economy's total size is also essential to our nation's future economic health.

Is the Deficit Urgent, or a Distraction? is a short series representing five separate points of view about U.S. growth, deficits and debt. It's well worth reading as five debaters take different views of the difficult economic issues we're facing.

While I hope you'll take a few minutes to read all five, highlighted below is a short excerpt from what one of the five contributors has to say.

Thanks. Bob.


{NOTE: One of the five debaters is Erskine Bowles, a Democrat and former White House Chief of Staff under President Clinton.

Along with Republican Alan Simpson, Mr. Bowles recently served as co-chair of President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

The following is part of what Mr. Bowles had to say as one of the five above referenced debaters concerning our country's crucial need for growth and debt curtailment.}

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