October 22, 2014

‘Dead Men Ruling’ Offers Blunt Diagnosis But Also Hope

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

Despite its grim title of “Dead Men Ruling,” Eugene Steuerle’s new book offers an optimistic message about the nation’s future as he calls for greater fiscal responsibility and generational fairness.

In a blog post discussing the book, Concord Coalition Executive Director Robert L. Bixby welcomes Steuerle’s argument that the United States has sufficient resources to deal with its projected deficits and rising debt.

As Steuerle puts it, “Conditions are ripe to advance opportunity in ways never before possible, including doing for the young in this century what the twentieth did for senior citizens, yet without abandoning those earlier gains.”

But he says elected officials must break the “political logjam” that was largely created years ago by men who are either retired or dead. This logjam involves irresponsible tax cuts and large programs that “automatically grow so fast that they claim every dollar of additional tax revenue that the government generates each year.”

Bixby praises the book for its positive vision as well as its “bluntly accurate diagnosis” of our fiscal challenges: “Readers will come to appreciate that it is not a matter of policymakers choosing each year to spend too much or tax too little; it is that they have switched these decisions to autopilot, knowing full well that the course is unsustainable."