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Federal Credit and Insurance Programs: Beyond the Deficit Diversion


Over the past decade and a half, public discussion of U.S. fiscal policy has been dominated by a growing obsession with the level and trend of government borrowing, manifested in federal budget deficits and the outstanding stock of public debt. The intensity of concern with these issues has, not surprisingly, increased in tandem with the magnitude of both. The view that something must be done to reduce the level and growth of government debt is nearly unanimous, and the sentiment that we require a dramatic remedy, such as a balancedbudget amendment to the Constitution, is not uncommon. Indeed, the durability of the Ross Perot presidential candidacy was in large part attributable to the sense that he alone among the candidates had insistently focused on the federal deficit.

Over the past decade and a half, public discussion of U.S. fiscal policy has been dominated by a growing obsession with the level and trend of government borrowing, manifested in federal budget deficits and the outstanding stock of public debt. The intensity of concern with these issues has, not surprisingly, increased in tandem with the magnitude of both. The view that something must be done to reduce the level and growth of government debt is nearly unanimous, and the sentiment that we require a dramatic remedy, such as a balancedbudget amendment to the Constitution, is not uncommon. Indeed, the durability of the Ross Perot presidential candidacy was in large part attributable to the sense that he alone among the candidates had insistently focused on the federal deficit.


Suggested citation: Altig, David, 1992. "Federal Credit and Insurance Programs: Beyond the Deficit Diversion," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary, 11.15.1992.

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