HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Albert J. Weatherhead III and Richard W. Weatherhead Professor of Public Management, Emeritus


So far in the current US presidential campaign, there has been virtually no attention paid to doing something about the US public debt problem. Instead, the battle among the primary Republican contenders has gotten sidetracked into a number of peripheral issues (at best) and bizarre issues (at worst), often raised by Rick Santorum on behalf of religious conservatives, involving government support for birth control, the status of gay marriage, and so forth. (The New York Times recently asked sarcastically how it was that the presidential campaign had come to be about sex.) Although many economists believe that, in the short term, the high budget deficit level in the US may be a good thing to provide macroeconomic stimulus to an economy still trying to recover from the financial crisis, there is close to unanimity among serious observers that, in the medium to longer term, the structural deficit in the US budget - with the concomitant increases in levels of public debt required to support it - is somewhere between highly problematic and totally unsustainable.


Kelman, Steven. "US Budget Breakthrough After Nov.?" Business Times, March 16, 2012.