Search publications by Andrew Fieldhouse
Ten-year deficit reduction targets have proliferated in recent years. However, these targets are bad economics and will likely lead to poor policy decisions. A better goal is to stabilize the debt ratio once the economy returns much closer to full employment.
The economy has gone five years since the beginning of the Great Recession without remotely approaching a full recovery. The top policy priority must be ensuring a rapid return to full employment through proven policy levers—namely, deficit-financed government spending to close the demand shortfall.
The focus of economic policy debate has turned to what has been called the “fiscal cliff”—the impact of tax cuts set to expire and spending cuts due to take effect at the end of calendar year 2012. For various reasons, “fiscal cliff” is a poor metaphor. We thus propose a different metaphor: the fiscal obstacle course.
As numeric embodiments of national priorities, budget proposals strip away political rhetoric to reflect underlying policy priorities.