I have a plan to reduce the budget deficit. The essence of the plan is the federal government writing me a check for $1 billion. The plan will be financed by $3 billion of tax increases. According to my back-of-the envelope calculations, giving me that $1 billion will reduce the budget deficit by $2 billion.
Hey, it works for health care, or so they say:
Healthcare reform, its advocates tell us, is fiscal reform. The healthcare reform bill passed last year increased government spending to cover the uninsured, but it also reduced the budget deficit by increasing various taxes as well. Because of this bill, the advocates say, the federal government is on a sounder fiscal footing. Repealing it, they say, would make the budget deficit worse.
So, by that logic, giving me $1 billion is fiscal reform as well.
Indeed. Perhaps they should write similar checks to all of us.
(Via Glenn Reynolds, who makes a counteroffer: “I’m prepared to do it for half what Mankiw wants.”)