By Jed GrahamPosted 11/20/2012 11:18 AM ETBelieve it or not, the federal deficit has fallen faster over the past three years than it has in any such stretch since demobilization from World War II.
In fact, outside of that post-WWII era, the only time the deficit has
fallen faster was when the economy relapsed in 1937, turning the Great
Depression into a decade-long affair.
If U.S. history offers any guide, we are already testing the speed
limits of a fiscal consolidation that doesn't risk backfiring. That's
why the best way to address the fiscal cliff likely is to postpone it.
While long-term deficit reduction is important and deficits remain
very large by historical standards, the reality is that the government
already has its foot on the brakes.
In this sense, the "fiscal cliff" metaphor is especially poor. The
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