Our Economy Stinks, But at Least We Get to Be Fiscally Responsible!

Fareed Zakaria sees a silver lining in our economic woes. Individuals, the feds, and, yes, state and local governments, will suddenly have to show some ...
by | October 13, 2008

Fareed Zakaria sees a silver lining in our economic woes. Individuals, the feds, and, yes, state and local governments, will suddenly have to show some fiscal restraint.

Amid the financial chaos and economic uncertainty that has rocked world

markets, I can see one silver lining. This crisis has forced the United

States to confront the bad habits it developed over the past few decades.

If we can kick those habits, today's pain will translate into gains in the

long run.

...

But the average American's behavior was virtuous compared with government

behavior. Every city, county and state has wanted to preserve its

proliferating operations yet not raise taxes. How to square this circle? By

borrowing, using ever more elaborate financial instruments.

Somehow, I can imagine a lot of elected officials (who don't tend to like to raise taxes or cut spending) responding, "That is the good news!?!"

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com  | 

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