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On the Origins of the Budget Deficit Myths

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Dallas, TX
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    Basic thing to me is that people are afraid of taxes going up on account of budget deficits, while they find abhorent the idea of an operationally unrestrained currency issuing agent, as they see it prone to political abuse. If you put what Paul Samuelson said and the "Starve the Beast" crowd together, the Deficit Myths then are supposed work to instigate citizen participation and oversight in goverment spending decisions through the fear of taxes going up. Meanwhile, James Buchanan and William Niskanen recognized what the "STB" crowd did not, that you cannot have it both ways, you cannot instill the fear of taxes going up to get people to exert more pressure on government spending decision while you are at the same time lowering their taxes. It's not like the supply siders went around advocating for 'tax cuts that pay for themselves - if you can keep them'. As such, according to the "Fiscal Illusion" crowd, the budget deficit conceals the true cost of government spending, decreasing citizen participation, and thus it enables more government spending. Blah, blah, blah. So we we put political ideology before political science. The concern is not what's the best thing for society. That decision has already been made. Too much "liberal" government spending is the problem, the negotiation is over what we are going to do about this problem. Fascist-totalitarianism has already reared its ugly head in the form of the dark side of Machiavellian thought present in this type of thinking.

    If you think about it, the Budget Deficit Myths (BDM) follow in the place of religious myths as a means of constructing something of a public fiscal morality through fear of a type of hell.

    Everybody holds suspicion about "the people" and everybody accepts some type of ethically questionable means of achieving public order. At the same time, self-reinforcing groupings and hierarchy is a basic human tendency. As such, elites tend to stick together, even when conflict is present, this ultimately sets the stage for maintenance of the inherited 'organizing myths' of society through elite competition.

    Government deficit=non goverment surplus