On the Deficit, Pelosi Gets It

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

Just before the Thanksgiving break, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), during a conference call with reporters, trumpeted the need for more job-creating legislation in spite of the growing deficit, and, thereby, continued to throw cold water on some congressional members' aspirations to begin tackling the country's debt.

According to a Roll Call (subscription required) article covering the call, Pelosi, to her credit, asserted that the "need to spend more money on job creation should outweigh concerns about adding to the...deficit." Implied in this exchange was Pelosi's continued unwillingness to accept Blue Dogs' and other deficit hawks' demands for a powerful debt commission to address the increasing deficit.

Pelosi also provided an extremely reasonable explanation for why some Americans might be upset over what they see as exorbitant spending: “The American people have an anger about the growth of the deficit because they’re not getting anything for it.” The speaker hoisted up as an example the billions of dollars recently spent to bail out financial investment firms, such as Goldman Sachs and AIG.

Politics hem Pelosi in a bit here because she cannot come out and say that the deficit should be the least of our worries right now – though she would be right to do so. However, the speaker gets the point across just as effectively by arguing that the deficit should not constrain spending to create more jobs in this employment-wasting downturn. Moreover, her continued resistance to an extremely undemocratic debt commission as a solution to the deficit *problem* is encouraging.

Image by Flickr user Randy Bayne used under a Creative Commons license.

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