The once and future politics of the national debt
Renewing the discussion on fiscal priorities is key to rebalancing our politics
I was at a dinner event a few weeks ago with an ideologically diverse group of people and we were talking about the usual stuff — Covid, Trump, political correctness on campus, the rise of China — when suddenly a center-right woman mentioned kind of casually that we’re going broke. Nobody really engaged with her on that point either to agree or disagree or to suggest a solution; it’s just less engrossing than this other stuff.
And to be clear, when it came to my turn to talk I didn’t address the debt question either.
But in response to my post on means-testing, a well-regarded conservative policy wonk whose spot I won’t blow up wrote me to say we need more aggressive means-testing of things like Social Security and Medicare because “we’re going broke.” I mention this because when Mitch McConnell says Republicans won’t vote to raise the statutory debt ceiling he’s obviously not entirely on the level. Bu…