posted on April 29, 2011 09:19
Every now and then you read a sentence that hits you like a hammer. So it was the other day when I thumbed through the April 17 Newsweek, which I hadn’t picked up in many moons.
I chanced upon an essay by Niall Ferguson, “Doing the Right Thing: America finally comes to its senses and faces the fiscal facts.” He put his finger on the choice America faces today when it comes to solving the budget crisis.
Ferguson quoted Winston Churchill: “The United States will always do the right thing—when all other possibilities have been exhausted.” He concluded:
“For a long time many people clung to the delusion that the United States could simply borrow $1 trillion a year for the rest of time. Now only two possibilities remain.
”The first possibility is the one devised by Rep. Paul Ryan, which would eliminate the deficit largely through deep spending cuts and Medicare reform. Possibility two is President Obama’s bid to close the budget gap with more modest cuts and tax hikes on ‘millionaires and billionaires.’
“It’s a bracingly binary choice. Shrink the government. Or squeeze the rich.”