John Makin warns that the real danger ahead is precisely that trillion-dollar deficits are sustainable:
The real danger facing American policymakers is, contrary to the cries of imminent “crisis” and “unsustainable” deficits and debt accumulation, the sustainability of trillion-dollar deficits. Eventually, probably much laterthan most pundits claim if the experience of Japan is any guide, the Federal Reserve’s monetary accommodation of US government debt accumulation, largely aimed at sustaining the growth of outlays on entitlements that do not support economic growth, will cause inflation to rise. The Fed’s latest move to target the unemployment rate with more quantitative easing only adds to the threat of inflation because the only way monetary policy can affect growth or employment is by engineering a higher-than expected rate of inflation.
Once inflation rises and the Fed is forced to tighten, borrowing costs for both the government and private sectors will rise. Growth measured in real, constant-dollar terms will fall relative to real, inflation adjusted interest rates along with tax revenues, and the US debt-to- GDP ratio will rise rapidly.