Bernanke: US Gov’t Can’t Continue with Current Fiscal Model

So, I guess we go back to budget balancing? Or the Federal Government winds up like California.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke:

Let me return to the issue of longer-term fiscal sustainability. As I have discussed, projections by the CBO and others show future budget deficits and debts rising indefinitely, and at increasing rates. To be sure, projections are to some degree only hypothetical exercises. Almost by definition, unsustainable trajectories of deficits and debts will never actually transpire, because creditors would never be willing to lend to a country in which the fiscal debt relative to the national income is rising without limit. Herbert Stein, a wise economist, once said, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” One way or the other, fiscal adjustments sufficient to stabilize the federal budget will certainly occur at some point. The only real question is whether these adjustments will take place through a careful and deliberative process that weighs priorities and gives people plenty of time to adjust to changes in government programs or tax policies, or whether the needed fiscal adjustments will be a rapid and painful response to a looming or actual fiscal crisis. Although the choices and tradeoffs necessary to achieve fiscal sustainability are difficult indeed, surely it is better to make these choices deliberatively and thoughtfully.

via FRB: Speech–Bernanke, Fiscal Sustainability and Fiscal Rules–October 4, 2010.

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Tom Cornyn

I'm just a regular guy. I eat tires.

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