Sunday, April 26, 2020

Controlavirus Panic-demic Will Wipe Out 40% Of U.S. Economy, Cost 27 Million U.S. Jobs

dailymail |  Coronavirus-related federal debt and deficit figures are pointing to government red ink unparalleled since World War II.

One lasting worry is the further shrinking of revenues that already were well below historic averages, even as the spending side of the federal ledger climbs due to the retirement costs of the baby boomers to Medicare and Social Security, record Pentagon spending and long-term COVID-19 response costs.

Even Washington's few remaining spending hawks say the flood of red ink should not be a focus in the short term as the government takes unprecedented steps to respond to a shrinking economy, unemployment levels not seen since the Great Depression, and shutdown orders lasting well into next month or beyond.

But when policymakers inevitably are forced to take on deficits, virtually none of them will have any experience in successfully doing so. 

Congress has not passed a major attack on the deficit since the hard-won 1997 law that capped a decade's worth of politically-costly but ultimately effective reduction measures.

The era of successful action to tackle debt and deficits ended more than two decades ago. In the interim, a divisive brand of politics has taken hold, making the kind of painful sacrifices required to even dent the deficit virtually impossible to pull off.

What's more, no one has even seriously tried since a failed effort by former GOP Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Obama almost a decade ago.

There´s no agreement on what levels of debt and deficits are sustainable. The government has run large deficits for well over a decade without the predicted increase in interest rates, economic stagnation, or a European-style fiscal crisis.