David Dayen: The Left Is Taking Aim at Pelosi’s Deficit Obsession

David Dayen writing over at The New Republic: The Left Is Taking Aim at Pelosi’s Deficit Obsession,

There’s also one major hurdle left to topple: the “pay as you go” rule, commonly known as “pay-go,” which demands that all new spending get offset with budget cuts or tax increases. Progressive critics argue that this creates an unlevel playing field, where Republicans blow giant holes in the tax code, as they did last year, while Democrats must pay fealty to the deficit. These critics are now mounting a fight to unshackle a future activist government.

[. . .] Obviously, Pelosi and her allies on pay-go consider the rule good politics, allowing them to rebut charges about “tax and spend” liberals by insisting that every new program is fully paid for. If anybody actually cared about the deficit, instead of habitually using it as a weapon to rein in the opposition party, maybe that logic would be compelling. But even if the politics make sense, the rule leads to bad policy, …

Democrats have fallen for deficit-scare politics for too long. Republicans understand money, and understand that they can spend (or cut taxes) to deliver for their constituents. And they understand that they can trick Democrats into not delivering for their constituents (We the People.) It is time for that nonsense to stop.

Everything in it’s place. For now.

This site concentrates on the contributions of the current principal architects of Modern Monetary Theory: the economists and academics who have done and continue to do the heavy lifting. When Dave and I launched the site shortly after I returned from the first international MMT conference last year, we set up some basic categories for the  purposes of sorting material into  categories that we expected would be intuitively sensible to journalists and commentators (like him) who would be interested in becoming MMT literate and then widening that circle of literacy; and to ordinary people (like me) who, drawn in by curiosity or chance, determined to learn more.  

These folks, mainly the academic teachers of macroeconomics, are nothing if not prolific.

After returning home from the second international conference, having fallen even further behind in adding content, it seemed necessary to further refine our organization. The earlier set of categories were beginning to resemble overfull closets. Time for additional closets. Accordingly, in the past few months, we’ve:

  • Moved “Primary Sources” up from the Resources drop-down menu to the top level of the menu and later created a “Teachers Teach” page for each of experts, our primary sources. Entries in “Teachers Teach” consist primarily of videos but also link to websites where they contribute their less formal thinking, and the occasional Twitter thread.
  • Under Resources,  podcasts are now separate from videos. 
  • Also under Resources, we have Nice Things We Can Have or Applied MMT. Under it, we’ve created separate pages for content related to the federal Job Guarantee, Student Loan cancellation, Medicare for All, Social Security, and Green New Deal.

This is the very definition of work in progress. Nothing is finished. I encourage our dozen readers to browse around. Suggestions are welcome.