Balanced Conversation

Recently, the right’s mantra has been that the federal government should live within its means — just “just like American families do.” It’s a great sound bite. It’s also absurdly intellectually dishonest.

Sen. Orrin Hatch supports amending the Constitution to require the federal government to have a balanced budget. The only exceptions: war and a two-thirds vote of Congress.

So how does this compare to the average American family? What are those credit cards that fill our wallets? Are they paid off every Dec. 31? And how about that mortgage or college loan? Are we “mortgaging our grandchildren’s future” with them? If these things are not paid in full every year, are families truly balancing their budgets?

Economists now almost universally agree that in economic downturns, government spending is part of the solution, not…

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