“It’s not fair,” my younger son would rant when, as a 5-year-old, life did not go his way.
Gold? Why not bitcoins or conch shells?
A return to a gold standard makes perfect sense if your contempt for government runs so extreme that it trumps any consideration of consequences. As a practical matter, though, the idea of reinstating the gold standard lies somewhere between silly and perverse.
Yet passionate Republican stalwarts – including David A. Stockman, budget director under President Ronald Reagan, former presidential candidate Steve Forbes and former Representative Ron Paul of Texas – call for junking our dollar standard in favor of returning to a gold standard. The Republican Party’s national platform last year called for a commission to study a conversion to gold.
Few economists preach spending cuts as a cure for high unemployment. Yet that’s exactly what Congress decided when it imposed, starting March 1, across-the-board spending cuts (the “sequester”). Despite Friday’s mildly upbeat jobs numbers, the economy remains limp, with 15 million or so unemployed individuals who want to work. Federal spending cuts won’t make their plight any better.
Congress has known for quite some time that the federal budget will turn sour in 10 to 15 years, with expected outlays far outstripping expected revenue. For complicated, if not odd, reasons, Congress now feels compelled to do what it ordinarily shuns: cut federal programs and raise taxes. That might seem politically brave and responsible. But brushed up against facts, the case for Congress taking swift action wobbles, hitting wrong targets at the wrong time.
“Now is the time to [reform immigration laws] so we can strengthen our economy.” So said President Barack Obama on Tuesday as he challenged Congress to give 11 million illegal residents of the United States a road map to citizenship.
“When you legalize those who are in the country illegally, it costs taxpayers millions of dollars, costs American workers thousands of jobs.” So said Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas), senior member of the Judiciary Committee, earlier this week.