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The economy: The only solution

| Sunday, June 10, 2012, 12:30 a.m.

The Congressional Budget Office is predicting that the debt of the United States will be twice the size of our economy by 2037. (It's now 73 percent of the GDP). And it more than suggests that tax hikes should be a part of the "solution."

Just call us Europe.

Thickening the accent, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is cautioning that sudden austerity -- necessarily large spending cuts coupled with tax hikes -- would hurt the recovery.

As The Wall Street Journal noted, "Just what Congress needed: a lecture not to cut spending."

And just what this country doesn't need is this continued warped fascination with a failed economic philosophy -- Keynesianism -- that not only has retarded recovery from The Great Recession but very likely has plopped us into the recession's second trough.

There is no more compelling argument for spending cuts (real cuts, not simply reductions in the rate of spending increases) and real tax cuts (rate reductions that have the private capital-fueled stimulative effect that government spending in no way can mimic).

The historical record of such actions' success is indisputable. And that success has come in administrations both Republican and Democrat over the last century.

Those who dispute that success are engaging in rhetoric -- ignorant and/or agendizing -- that not only is antithetical to the foundations of this republic but a mortal threat to it. America, on a cliff, can abide such recklessness no longer.

Sunday pops

Pennsylvania House Republicans met behind closed doors last week to consider legislation to sell the commonwealth's 600-plus state liquor stores. The practice is defended as being perfectly legal. So is giving another driver the South Side Salute on the Parkway East. But that doesn't make it acceptable. One would think that a legislature so beset by corruption would do everything possible -- everything -- to promote transparency. That's apparently not the case. ... So unserious is new socialist French President Francois Hollande about getting L'hexagone back into fiscal shape that his administration has lowered the retirement age from 62 to 60. It's calling the move another step toward "social justice." Let's call it what it is -- another in a long line of French steps toward insolvency. ... That cost-inflating "project labor agreement" for union work on a new light-rail project to Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., is finis. And with good reason. PLAs are nothing more than extortion by labor unions that discriminate against nonunion contractors. Here's hoping a new trend is upon us -- rejecting Big Labor's thuggery.

Dear Ken Melani:

Actions have consequences.

Period.

Yours, Old Man River.

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