Naked Capitalism has the fourth installment, Real Fiscal Responsibility 4; Carter: Education Reform, in its series. I think the greatest contribution of the series so far, and it is only beginning, is the insight quoted below.
This pattern was reinforced further by the activities of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The relatively new CBO (established in 1974) evaluated pending or proposed legislation based on whether their models projected fiscal neutrality for that legislation. But, it was never part of its charge to evaluate legislation passed or pending for its impact on the various aspects of public purpose. So, CBO, in its very purpose and mission, has been directed at a faux problem of fiscal responsibility rather than any of the real ones that actually exist. And its very formation represents a misdirection of the Congress away from real problems that are aspects of public purpose and toward two proxies, the debt subject to the limit and the annual deficit which are not real problems related to the public purpose of the Federal Government. We need an end to that kind of orientation. And the Government during the Carter period mostly reinforced it.
I have high hopes that this series will refocus the discussion on what really are the legitimate public purposes of our government. We need to re-examine the tactics we invented in another time to accomplish the public purpose. We need tactics that meet the challenges of the present time.