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The economy: Fatal ignorance

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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Monday, Sept. 17, 2012, 8:56 p.m.
 

A New York Times/CBS News poll suggests that President Barack Obama “is erasing” Mitt Romney's “edge” regarding the economy. If the poll is accurate, it's indicative of an electorate's fatal ignorance.

And voters would serve themselves and the nation well by understanding the “magnitude of the mess we're in.”

That quoted phrase comes from a Monday headline on a Wall Street Journal commentary by five quite astute economists, including Carnegie Mellon University's Allan Meltzer. Their recitation of the facts shows that the U.S. economy is on the edge of disaster because of this administration's policies and those of the Federal Reserve.

“We risk passing an economic, fiscal and financial point of no return,” writes Professor Meltzer and four colleagues associated with Stanford University's Hoover Institution, including former U.S. Treasury Secretary George Shultz.

“(G)overnment officials are issuing debt to finance pet projects and payoffs to interest groups, not some vital, let alone existential, national purpose. ... If we stay on the current path,” it will culminate in an “unwelcome explosion and crisis.”

The commonsense solutions “are blindingly obvious,” the scholars conclude, repeating the need for the lowest possible taxes, sound monetary policy, spending discipline and entitlement reform, among other things.

Tragically, our obdurate “leaders” and a large swath of the electorate are blinded by an economic ideology that history documents as a failure.

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