On October 20, the Chamber of Commerce sponsored an all-day discussion at the American Enterprise Institute titled “A Balancing Act: Federal Debt, Deficit, and Economic Recovery.” In actuality, the event proved overwhelmingly concerned with debt – almost zero about recovery.
David M. Cote, the CEO of Honeywell International made the discussion’s priorities explicit. He warned that the debt had to be resolved “now, proactively and thoughtfully.” Alan D. Viard of AEI said that the controversial value-added tax might be worth discussing as a way to reduce the deficit.
But the only panelist to address at all the issue of jobs and recovery was liberal economist Dean Baker. Baker said that he had heard a lot of people warning that something bad might happen. Baker noted though that something bad “has already happened.”
The lop-sided imbalance of the discussion sends a disturbing message: do conservatives really have so little to say about the economic problems facing most American families, such as their low incomes or lack of jobs?