After relentlessly cheerleading one spending program after another in both the Bush Administration and the Obama Administration, the NY Times has two articles in today's edition that have a dose of unpleasant reality. The country cannot afford it.
One article discusses the growing fiscal nightmares of local communities in NY State, facing massive pension fund contribution increases. Keep in mind that those receiving these pension benefits are wealthier and have higher income on average than those paying the taxes to support them. This is the "reverse Robin Hood" nature of modern state and federal spending. Take from the average taxpayer and give to the priveleged state and local employee, many of whom in NY state and In California are retiring on six figure annual retirement packages. Some take the six figure retirement income and go right back to work at the same old jobs (doing virtually nothing). Nice work, if you can get taxpayers to fund it and that is precisely what is going on.
Another articles quotes various prominent left wing economists (and one right wing economist) that the country is on an unsustainable fiscal path. (This is before the so-called health reform adds another $2 Trillion in additional debt to the mix). There seems to be general agreement that the US is rapidly becoming a banana Republic. Meanwhile, the economy is getting worse.
The Obama crowd will no doubt soon propose more wasted spending putting taxpayers deeper in the hole with no real effect on the economy. That's basically what happened with the first stimulus package, with its almost non-existent infrastructure spending and no payroll tax cuts, both items that Obama had promised in the days leading up to his inaugural. But, sensible pollicies gave way to politics-as-usual and tha Obama-Pelosi team simply wasted another $ 800 billion in taxpayer money, rewarding their political allies, and tossed the economy under the bus.
Glad to see that the NY Times is waking up and smelling the coffee. Maybe, Krugman will see the light some day. But, that might be too much to ask.