Leaders of the world’s biggest economies agreed on Friday to curb “persistently large imbalances” in saving and spending but deferred until next year tough decisions on how to identify and fix them.
Still, I suppose merely acknowledging the problem in a big public forum represents a bit of progress. A “single,” as President Obama puts it.
By the way, if you want to reduce the federal deficit, guess what else has to happen? The trade deficit has to come down. This is one bellwether of seriousness on the budget deficit: if you mention the trade deficit, you’re serious. If you don’t, you’re not. So without looking, anyone want to place a bet on whether the Simpson-Bowles deficit commission report mentions the trade deficit? I’d take bets on this with all comers, but I’d be cheating. I already looked.1
1Answer: no it doesn’t. This is yet another stake in the heart of the report’s supposed seriousness.