October 21, 2014

Two Goals, Two Strategies

  • The national debt has grown significantly in recent years due to rising annual deficits. A deficit occurs in any year the government spends more...

President Obama continues to campaign for a package of tax cuts and additional spending that he says will provide the U.S. economy with needed short-term support. At the same time, the congressional super committee is looking for ways to cut spending and increase government revenue over the next 10 years and beyond.

Many analysts characterize this situation as long-term policy versus short-term policy and argue that the short term should take priority right now. But Washington can pursue both policy challenges at the same time, as Diane Lim Rogers, The Concord Coalition’s chief economist, explains in a guest column in The Christian Science Monitor.

The key, she says, is that elected officials must put policies in place that have been proven to work, and get rid of less effective ones.

That means short-term measures should “put more money in the hands of the households most likely to immediately spend the money on goods and services, and the businesses most likely to hire more workers,” Rogers says.

For the longer term, the government should focus on deficit reduction policies that will boost national savings, encourage economic growth and free up resources to flow to the most productive areas of the economy.