That is why I liked this post by someone named Jared Bernstein that I found on TPM Cafe. He is writing about a talk given by Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Laureate economist who was once chair of Clinton's Council of Economic Advisors (1995 – 1997):
If I could summarize his message in one over-arching thought, it would be: too often, our budget debates mindlessly assume that deficit reduction is the best option, both for us and for other countries with whom we do business. This simplistic, reductionist view is leading both political parties toward a philosophy of fiscal austerity which will have very negative consequences.
It seems to me this absolute devotion to balanced budgets is just as widespread in Canada, and with somewhat similar consequences. The fact that we are putting more and more resources into the military and the war in Afghanistan parallels in a reduced way the problems in the U.S.
The post and the talk are well worth reading.