States are constrained by reality, unlike Washington

This blog, our research updates, and Carolina Journal’s Daily Journal columns all make clear that state policies are grounded in reality, including recent budgets. Yuval Levin of the American Enterprise Institute provides yet more evidence that Washington policies are orthogonal to reality, especially in finances.

The prospect we face likely is not a matter of existential disaster or some kind of fiscal implosion. We can probably live with debt like this, but it will mean that our economy has less to offer our people and that we are much weaker and more vulnerable than we have to be. Doing something about it would require modest reforms, reached as compromises. But that’s just what we can’t do now. And so instead we find cowardly silence on the right and careless, nonsensical promises on the left.

In this arena as in others, the legacy of this period looks likely to be a legacy of recklessness and missed opportunities. Doing better would require us to step back from a politics of outrage and counter-outrage and so, although it is something we should plan and work for, at least for the time being it just isn’t something we should expect.

Joseph Coletti / Senior Fellow

Joe Coletti is a senior fellow at the John Locke Foundation focused on fiscal policy issues. He previously headed the North Carolina Government Efficiency and Reform initiativ...

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