From Paul Krugman's column yesterday:
Spend now, while the economy remains depressed; save later, once it has recovered. How hard is that to understand?
Pretty simple, you'd think. But alas,
Very hard, if the current state of political debate is any indication. All around the world, politicians seem determined to do the reverse. They're eager to shortchange the economy when it needs help, even as they balk at dealing with long-run budget problems.
But maybe a clear explanation of the issues can change some minds. So let's talk about the long and the short of budget deficits. I'll focus on the U.S. position, but a similar story can be told for other nations.
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