Paul Krugman says that the debt ceiling deal, or at least the form it took on Sunday, portends economic disaster. "We currently have a deeply depressed economy. We will almost certainly continue to have a depressed economy all through next year. And we will probably have a depressed economy through 2013 as well, if not beyond," he wrote. "The worst thing you can do in these circumstances is slash government spending, since that will depress the economy even further."
Matt Miller concurs.
"Washington will do nothing more to boost jobs and growth. The best that can be said is that the spending cuts will be tiny in the next two years, so the feds won't be contracting demand, save for the end of the stimulus. Our epic jobs crisis remains ignored," he wrote. "The only sane agenda -- more tax cuts and spending stimulus in the near term, coupled with much more deficit reduction in the long term, triggered once unemployment is back below 6 or 7 percent -- is not even on the table."
I am surprised by this surprise that our elected representatives haven't pursued "the only sane agenda." Every day, I learn about policy that seems insane. Were we governed by diligent, uncorrupted technocrats, sent to Washington, D.C., by citizens with a keen understanding of economic theory and informed preferences about the fiscal choices before them, perhaps doing what Krugman and Miller recommend -- stimulus now, deficit reduction when the time is right -- would be just the thing.