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Not household budget

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Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Not household budget

Donald J. Boudreaux, author of the column “No free stimulus” (July 24 and TribLIVE.com), apparently is not aware that when you can print money and there is no statutory requirement linking the money supply to fixed assets, budgets and deficits do not apply in the same way they do to a household budget, where fixed-income, zero-sum dynamics apply.

Boudreaux's critique of Paul Krugman seems to be based on a gold standard that no longer applies. Krugman points out that the low interest rates that prevail for the federal government and U.S. corporations show confidence in the United States among the world's investors that Boudreaux denies as if it were global warming.

The arithmetic of deficit spending applied as equally to Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush as it does to Barack Obama. What is clearly mistaken were the tax cuts that Bush guaranteed would pay for themselves. What was mistaken was the corporate deregulation and free trade that Bill Clinton and Bush claimed would free the American marketplace to compete on the world stage. The tax cuts resulted in record deficits; the deregulation nearly destroyed our economy, without creating jobs or building American markets abroad; the free trade shipped the factories and jobs overseas.

Ben Burrows

Elkins Park

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