Writing in The New Republic, Clay Risen continues the trend away from deficit hawk Democrats, arguing that the budget-balancers in the liberal party risk falling into a Republican trap. The electorate really likes big government, he maintains, not Democratic spending cuts. Worse, the voters won’t get the connection between deficits and interest rates but will fear higher taxes.
Leaving aside the some of the suspect economic assertions — mainly warmed-over Rubinomics — there is some truth to the political analysis. And some value in realizing that the deficit is useful to Democrats primarily as a way of blocking tax cuts. Only a minority in the party prefers balanced budgets on their own merits.
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