The US deficit is an issue both candidates have said they are deeply concerned about. We look at how much the deficit can weigh down the economy and our politics, and whether short-term stimulus is worth long-term debt.
30 Issues in 30 Days is our election year series on the important issues facing the country this election year. Today: The actual significance of the national debt and how it might play into the election. Visit the 30 Issue home page for all the conversations.
At the state level, exploding fiscal debt comes as Washington is on a to dramtically cut discretionary domestic spending on local aid.
Luigi Zingales, University of Chicago economist and the author of A Capitalism for the People: Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity, argues the U.S. economy is in danger of falling prey to the problems he hoped to leave behind in Europe.
Recap from It's A Free Country
Paul Krugman says we need to leave Social Security and Medicare alone, raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, and get over our fear of government spending—which is why he's happy that the deficit reduction super committee didn't make a deal.
—David Leonhardt, Washington bureau chief for the New York Times, on The Brian Lehrer Show
Now, the Republicans are becoming so radicalized. They actually do want to repeal the social contract of the 20th century so that's what the next election is going to be about, these gains that were made in the 20th century and whether we want to continue with the deal that we make to each other as a people, and I think it's going to be a fascinating election because it really is a referendum on something important.
Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, Columbia University professor, and author of Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy joins Robert Kuttner, co-editor of The American Prospect magazine, senior fellow at Demos, and author of A Presidency in Peril: The Inside Story of Obama's Promise, Wall Street's Power, and the Struggle to Control our Economic Future to discuss the demise of the president's deficit commission's proposal.