Elmendorf, Douglas. "Federal Policy and Economic Growth." Business Economics 52.3 (July 2017): 149–153.

Abstract

I am quite concerned about the high and rising levels of federal debt we will have in the long term unless our policies are changed. But as I look out to the next several years, I am much more worried about the prospect of sharp cuts in federal spending that would be damaging to the country’s long-term growth prospects. We are on track to significantly cut federal investment in infrastructure relative to the historical pattern, and this would be a terrible mistake. There is no evidence that this administration’s policies will lead to faster economic growth, on balance, and setting expectations of 3 or 4% growth does not advance the national discussion. As we make changes in government policies, we should give distributional concerns significant weight. If we continue to support policies that are good for the economy as a whole but bad for lower- or middle-income people, we need to step up with practical policies to compensate those people for their losses.