Greg Mankiw’s Blog: The Budgetary Trilemma
A wise economist of the center left recently suggested to me that the Biden administration faces a trilemma: They would like to (1) increase spending on programs they consider important, (2) not raise taxes on those making less than $400,000 a year, and (3) put fiscal policy on a sustainable path. But the stark reality is that they can have only 2 out of the 3.
The President’s just released budget chooses to forgo fiscal sustainability. As the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget notes, even under the unlikely scenario that the President gets everything he wants through Congress and his economic projection turns out to be correct, “debt would hit a new record by 2027, rising from 98 percent of GDP at the end of 2023 to 106 percent by 2027 and 110 percent by 2033.”
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