The non-serious debate over the deficit

I will admit I have a hard time disagreeing with Paul Krugman’s recent argument about the debate over the deficit:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/18/opinion/18krugman.html

His basic point is that the vast majority of the federal budget is devoted to entitlement programs (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc.) and yet no one is seriously discussing ways to rein in entitlement spending. Instead, the fuss is over comparatively smaller things like foreign aid, nutrition programs, and heating and housing subsidies for low-income families, which collectively account for a mere sliver of the overall budget. He concludes:

The bottom line, then, is that while the budget is all over the news, we’re not having a real debate; it’s all sound, fury, and posturing, telling us a lot about the cynicism of politicians but signifying nothing in terms of actual deficit reduction. And we shouldn’t indulge those politicians by pretending otherwise.

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