What I keep hearing from Washington is one of two arguments: either (1) the stimulus has failed, unemployment is still rising, so we shouldn’t do any more, or (2) the stimulus has succeeded, G.D.P. is growing, so we don’t need to do any more. The truth, which is that the stimulus was too little of a good thing — that it helped, but it wasn’t big enough — seems to be too complicated for an era of sound-bite politics.
Of course, we've got the Teabag fringe, wailing (now, not when Bush was running us into debt paying for that useless war) about how our grandchildren will be SADDLED with DEBT!!!1!; but, as Krugman also notes, this is classic pennywise thinking.
Deficit hawks like to complain that today’s young people will end up having to pay higher taxes to service the debt we’re running up right now. But anyone who really cared about the prospects of young Americans would be pushing for much more job creation, since the burden of high unemployment falls disproportionately on young workers — and those who enter the work force in years of high unemployment suffer permanent career damage, never catching up with those who graduated in better times.
And, as I'll point out, to anyone who isn't living in that Winger alt.world (we'll just make up the planet we want to live in, where global climate change isn't happening, and the Iraq War is being won, and Reagan Was a Great President), things are dire out here in the actual world. Yesterday I had the third student of this semester alone drop out of school b/c she could no longer afford to be a student. This one was a junior -- the other two had been underclassmen.
Rent and debt and food and health costs and fuel prices are so high these students are not able to stay in school. It's not tuition. It's the cost of living. My freshman who quit mid-semester said he just couldn't spare the time off work. (He works at Sonic, by the way.)
We're eating our seed corn. For what? To pay for a useless war? To make health insurance executives even richer? To prop up some demented old white guy's notion of what this country should be?
When will this be enough?