Is A Budget Deficit Morally Wrong


The Coalition argues that debt is immoral and that it is indefensible to pass on a high National Debt from one generation to another. If so all British governments have committed sin in over 300 years of the existence of the Bank of England. Deficits have been used for a multitude of reasons: to finance unpopular wars, for post-war reconstruction, to invest in the future and many others. Was it morally wrong to oppose a Nazi regime? Is it wrong to use public money to prevent the collapse of the banking system? Is it morally reprehensible for a man to leave a substantial estate after paying off a mortgage? It is not so clear now, is it, I suggest? Well, come off it, I hear you say what about the waste? Of course, but to engage in any large enterprise is to create waste. Or a smaller one, if it is your own budget. Any waste there? And let’s be honest no-one is advocating waste? Well, what did the Labour Government give us for all this expenditure? You must be joking surely: hundreds of new schools, the overdue modernisation of the Health Service and the greatest improvement in standards ever achieved in a comparable period and  enomous investment in infrastucture, in particular transport. I could go on, and on. Oh well,  I hear you say weakly, the debt is too high and is costing us too  much. You are right there mate and if we can get agreement  that debt reduction is not an absolute we can get on and do something about it without ruining ourselves.

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