Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Moanin' Mona

I don't know when I've seen such a decently written but totally out-of-touch column on current affairs. Mona Charen is out of touch with the tenor of the times. Out of touch with the country. Out of touch even with the Republican Party, for the most part.

You know how I've gotten ahead a little in life? By running a deficit -- for my house, my vehicles, for other things that make life good -- and even letting it get out of hand to make a great leap forward (hee hee) now and then: specifically, when Dr. ER and I together signed on numerous dotted lines for our house, and when each of us individually signed for gargantuan student loans.

Deficit schmeficit. Screw the U.S. deficit -- at least until we get this economy moving ahead again. And after the crisis has passed, let's realize that running a deficit of manageable size, and occasionally of seemingly unmanageable size, actually is an important tool of a household, a business, an economy and a government.


Now is the time for debt. That is if you can get anyone to lend it to you. Money is as cheap as it will be in the next 50 years. Wealth after all is a matter of Faith. Faith in the value of what we are, what we make, and what we can do. Credit is the belief that the money given will be repaid at a profit. Money is the artificial way we measure that Faith and Belief. Borrow at almost nothing and buy for cents on the dollar.
once a year I ad up my assets and my debts and see who wins.
Don't you know that only Democrats cause deficits, and they are always bad when Democrats do them? In fact, if it weren't for Democrats, we'd still have a surplus.

That's the thing with conservatives and Republicans. It's always someone else's fault, unless it isn't bad when Republicans do it, in which case the Republicans did it because it's a good thing.

BTW, the word verification is conspiring - it is "sumodumb", which is as good a definintion of Charen's column as I could come up with.
I do trust you understand the difference between a deficit and a debt. You probably ran a deficit in the year you signed for the house, but not in most of the other years you owned it. You have debt, but you pay down the principal and I would hope salted away money in retirement accounts, investments, or other savings vehicles.

Most but not all economists believe the budget should be roughly balanced over the course of a business cycle - deficits run at times like this and surpluses when growth is strong. Probably much as you would do with your personal finances.
True. Deficit spending for a time, for a specific purpose judged to be more important than a balanced budget.

I ran personal budget deficits for YEARS after college because I made jack for a living as a journalist. I paid off my loans in 10 years. But I didn't approach "comfortable' -- strike that: "not scared sh--tless" -- for another few years.
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