The solution is not a "Star Trek" approach in which we must go where no one has gone before. We know what works and what must be done. Social Security and Medicare must be reformed; government programs that have failed, or are obsolete, should be scrapped; military spending designed to enhance re-election prospects for some members of Congress, while doing nothing to improve the military, must be ended, and people should be asked to return to the attitude of previous generations that all of us, including government, must live within our means.
Writing in U.S. News & World Report, publisher Mort Zuckerman takes the Krugman view a step further by calling the administration he once supported "The Most Fiscally Irresponsible Government in U.S. History."
Zuckerman writes: "People see the stimulus, fashioned and passed by Congress in such a hurry, as a metaphor for wasted money. They are highly critical about the lack of discipline among our political leaders. The question that naturally arises is how to forestall a long-term economic decline."
The answer is for the Republicans, so eager and so likely to regain power in the House and possibly the Senate in the coming election, to expose the administration's sugarcoating of reality and get out the bad-tasting medicine. The good news is that by swallowing fiscal responsibility, we will all be better off in the end. But can Republicans withstand and prevail over the Democratic demagoguery that will predictably be heaped on them? They'd better, or they don't deserve to lead.
As Walter Cronkite used to say, "That's the way it is."
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