Jimmy P. at the DNC—The economy is tonight's theme here in Denver. (The formal title is "Renewing America's Promise.") So, in honor of that, I thought I would point out a positive in Barack Obama's economic agenda: Obama realizes that economic growth is good.
Now, that sounds like a joke, but it isn't. As a former aide to President Clinton told me yesterday, one of his boss's big accomplishments was to convince his party that growing the economic pie, not just redistributing wealth, was indispensable. (Now, this is a battle that Democratic centrists may have to refight given the growing hostility of many environmentalists to economic growth.)
So, I am encouraged that Obama has chosen economic growth over deficit reduction. Now don't get more wrong, gang,. I would love to see a balanced budget and a surplus, though it's the longer-term debt that's really dangerous. But if you want to deal with both the short-term and long-term debt problem, a fast-growing economy is a necessity. Got to get that right. As JFK put it: "In short, it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low , and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now.... The purpose of cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy , which can bring a budget surplus."
That being said, I would love Obamanomics even more if Obama wanted to (1) dramatically cut discretionary spending, (2) dramatically cut the projected growth of entitlement spending, (3) lower harmful business and investment taxes like JFK. But to quote the man who jumped out of a burning plane with no parachute: "First things first!"