Make Us Thrifty, But Not Yet, Ctd

Avent echoes Yglesias:

Some of the recommendations are problematic, but they're generally fairly sensible. But the reaction to the report makes one thing perfectly clearthe bipartisan commission has done absolutely nothing to create either the will or the bipartisan consensus to make any progress on the deficit. And I think it was pretty silly to expect that it could have.

America is not Britain.

Its government is a minefield of checks and veto-points. To pass big budget changes, and especially changes that will cause short-term pain to concentrated, organised interests (like pensioners) Congress must be driven by and allowed to blame a real economic urgency. And right now, there is no urgency. The 10-year Treasury yield currently sits at 2.6%. It hasn't been above 5% since 2007. It hasn't been above 6% since 2000. In 1994, when the big budget-balancing deal was cut, it was close to 8%. The world has a thirst for safe assets, and American government debt is just about the safest on offer.

I think is is too convenient an excuse for inaction. To refuse to endorse a sensible proposal to address a real problem because there's a lack of political will for it is circular. One reason there is no political will is because the public hasn't forced it; and the only way to get the public on board - if you are a blogger - is to raise consciousness, make the arguments and do your best. Defeatism on something this important is, well, defeatism. Especially since this president is in such an excellent position to gain real political traction from endorsing this. And soon.