News Columns & Blogs

Is there a middle way on budget, economy?

Many economists are worried that cutting government spending right now could undermine the economic recovery. Yet there are legitimate concerns about government debt. Is there a responsible middle ground? Columnist David Brooks recommends the following short-term actions: "First, extend unemployment insurance; that's a foolish place to begin budget-balancing. Second, you need to mitigate the pain caused by the state governments that are slashing spending." But his overall advice is: "Don't be arrogant. This year, don't engage in reckless new borrowing or reckless new cutting. Focus on the fundamentals. Cut programs that don't enhance productivity. Spend more on those that do."