Representative Obey was in Superior recently to get an update on how government money was being spent in Douglas County.
Wisconsin Public Radio reported on his visit with some local high school students during the trip. The visit included some questions from the students. Including one brave soul that asked a question about the level of spending recently embarked upon by the President and his allies in Congress.
The question ran along the lines of where did the money come from for the current spending binge. Obey, in his characteristic blunt style, responded that the money was borrowed. The student then tried to point out that it was the young people in the audience that would bear the burden of repaying the debts incurred by current members of Congress.
Obey easily deflected this criticism by telling the student that the cost of doing nothing was much higher. He implied that without the current spending by the federal government, the students would have a difficult time paying for a college education and finding employment afterwards.
This, of course, is beside the point.
If Democrats believe the best way out of the current economic mess is through the use of fiscal policy(that is to say, spending) fine. They won the election, they get to chart the course. The short term deficits in 2009 and 2010 are not what the high school students of Douglas County should be worried about.
The real threat, the one that the student was trying to get at and that Obey was refusing to address, are the chronic deficits that run for years beyond the current crisis. Persistent deficits, combined with the fact that they are at levels above historical averages, do represent a real threat to the future of American prosperity.