Economic Growth Must be Washington's Plan A

If the great football coach Vince Lombardi was alive today, he could modify his famous speech, "What it Takes to Be Number One," to address our fiscal problems:

"Growth is not a sometime thing. Growth is an all-time thing. You don't grow once in a while, you grow all the time. There is no room for stagnation. Stagnation is a game for losers, played by losers. "

When Republicans don't stand for growth, they don't stand a chance. If authentic growth is not an option, the electorate chooses redistribution over austerity. Austerity surrenders to stagnation and puts Republicans on a losing battlefield where cutting entitlements is too easily framed by the opposing team as redistribution from the poor to the rich. How's that working for us?

Federal finances are ultra-sensitive to economic growth. Chuck Kadlec, economic advisor to the late Jack Kemp and more recently to Herman Cain's presidential campaign, pointed out in his recent Forbes column that every one-tenth of one percentage-point increase in the real rate of economic growth reduces the deficit over 10 years by $314 billion.

On a present value basis, increasing the rate of real economic growth by a tenth of a percent is 27 times more beneficial to federal finances than reducing spending as a share of GDP by a tenth of a percent. Why choose the harder course, there are no bonus points for degree of difficulty.

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