Fiscal Responsibility, According to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, commenting on the federal debt limit, says, “Congress needs to do its job. It needs to work on appropriation bills. It needs to pass a debt limit.” With a national debt of more than $16 trillion, Mr. Lew thinks that the responsible thing for Congress to do is to run up the debt even more. One would think he would say, “Congress needs to do its job. It needs to cut appropriations. It needs to balance the budget.” There’s not even a hint here that fiscal responsibility means balancing the budget. That idea left town with the Clinton administration.

One irony about Mr. Lew’s saying Congress needs to pass a debt limit is that it just did that, less than a year ago.

Randall G. Holcombe is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, the DeVoe Moore Professor of Economics at Florida State University, and author of the Independent Institute book Liberty in Peril: Democracy and Power in American History.
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