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Articles & Op-Eds

“Après moi le deluge”

Posted by Alex Chafuen
December 31, 2012

by Alex Chafuen

During a recent interview on NTN24TV,  I was asked about the difference between the fiscal deficit and the fiscal “cliff.”  I told them that the deficit is more like a flood (deluge), and that explanation led me to write an op-ed for Investors Business Daily, thanks Daniel Bunn for co-writing.

We begin:

“There is some dispute on who was the first person to come up with one of the most popular forecasts of all time: “après moi le deluge,” or, “after me the flood.” Was it Madame de Pompadour or Louis XV?  We sometimes use the term in economics to criticize the attitude of those who focus only on the short term. John Maynard Keynes’ famous phrase “in the long term we are all dead” is a good complement.  During the past months and recent weeks, the concern from most who live directly or indirectly from government money has not been the deluge but the fiscal “cliff.”  Those who focus on the longer term and outside Washington and New York focus more on fiscal deficits and the potential floods that they might carry.” . . .

After Congress approved the Senate and Obama plan, I posted this on Facebook:  “Off the cliff and into flood territory? Will the vote in Congress for this short and flimsy bridge takes us to the next cliff or to soon to be flooded waters. Vote was for more deficits, as we wrote on IBD, the mentality of “apres moi le deluge”, still reigns”

Keep reading the op-ed

Alex

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