The rhetorical deficit - Macleans.ca

The rhetorical deficit

by

Tabatha Southey considers the rhetoric of public debt.

It’s easy to alarm people over a deficit. It’s a high number and people are forever being told that it’s theirs and their children’s debt and specifically how much of it is theirs, per capita. But no one ever tells them how much highway they own, per capita, or what section of the Grand Canyon is theirs. It’s a very one-sided, frequently opportunistic way of expressing the situation.

The consequences of playing a game around the largely artificial debt ceiling are very real. This is politics triumphing over economics, but without the triumph.