America’s Fiscal Cliff Dwellers
project-syndicate.org — The choice of words to describe America’s fiscal situation matters, given the hysteria that has been whipped up in recent months, primarily by people who want to make big cuts in the country’s two main entitlement programs, Social Security and Medicare. Their logic is that if we are about to rush off a cliff, we need to take extreme measures. And cutting pensions and health care for the elderly certainly qualifies as extreme – as well as completely inappropriate and unnecessary. If, instead, the U.S. faces a fiscal slope, then people who refuse to consider raising taxes – namely, Republicans in the U.S. Congress’s House of Representatives – have a very weak hand indeed.