Very few of the prophets of fiscal doom have acknowledged the failure of their prophecies to come true so far.
(We're looking at you, Erskine Bowles. -z)
And those who have admitted surprise seem more annoyed than chastened. For example, back in 2010 Alan Greenspan - who is, for some reason, still treated as an authority figure - conceded that despite large budget deficits, "inflation and long-term interest rates, the typical symptoms of fiscal excess, have remained remarkably subdued."
But he went on to declare, "This is regrettable, because it is fostering a sense of complacency." How dare reality not validate my fears!
Regular readers know that I and other economists argued from the beginning that these dire warnings of fiscal catastrophe were all wrong, that budget deficits won't cause soaring interest rates as long as the economy is depressed - and that the biggest risk to the economy is that we might try to slash the deficit too soon. And surely that point of view has been strongly validated by events.
What's the answer for Doomsday Professionals in Waashington, DC, Palenque, Uxmal, or just down the street? Their motives are other than the survival of Earth or the national debt, their motives are to fleece the people in a cloud of ignorance.