| What's a "deficit hawk"?
It's someone who, against all evidence, against political common sense and the simple truths of Economics 101, and against the fact that austerity has failed wherever it's been tried, still feels squeamish about our national debt and supports the one and only thing that will make it worse: unneeded cuts to basic social benefits and the enhanced austerity techniques advocated by mostly right-wingers.
Nobel Prize Winner Paul Krugman explains:
It is, for example, almost two years since Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles declared that we should expect a fiscal crisis within, um, two years.
But that crisis keeps not happening. The still-depressed economy has kept interest rates at near-record lows despite large government borrowing, just as Keynesian economists predicted all along. So the credibility of the scolds has taken an understandable, and well-deserved, hit.
Second, both deficits and public spending as a share of G.D.P. have started to decline - again, just as those who never bought into the deficit hysteria predicted all along.
So even as the deficit scolds' predictions have never come true, the economy is self-correcting and the deficit is shrinking faster than ever before.
Mark Udall is a deficit hawk who is still locked into DC's conventional wisdom on deficits and spending - conventional wisdom that is wrong:
The Colorado Democrat, who is up for re-election next year, gave three interviews last weekend in which he emphasized his new found commitment to reducing the nation's $16 trillion debt.
In an interview Friday with KUSA-TV in Denver, Udall implied he would take a lead role in Congress to help the federal government get out of the red.
"[T]hat's the number one job for me: I'm reaching out to the new Congress. We've got a new start. We have about 15 new senators ... I'm going to work hard," Udall said.
Udall also appeared on KDVR-TV Friday to emphasize that reducing the deficit will be a challenge for lawmakers. "We've done some of the easy things in strengthening our economic situation," he said, "but we've still got to do the hard things."
The "hard things" for Mark are going to be cutting Medicare and Social Security for his poor and elderly constituents. Except they won't be that hard for him since he'll be praised by every Op-Editor in the land and his partners in Austerity, The Third Way, other austerity-inclined CEOs of Fix the Debt, and probably Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson themselves.
They will all be wrong.
They will all be acting against all the best evidence to enact policies that will solidify the wealth of the 1% and make it that much more difficult on the Middle Class to survive this Great Recession and has sent Britain into the third dip of its austerity-induced recession.
And, through it all, deficit hawks like Mark Udall will convince themselves they did the right thing.