March 9, 2010
Sovereign debt weaknesses are the global economic story of the hour. Governments compelled to rescue economies with stimulus spending are now caught in their own crises in Iceland, Greece, Spain and elsewhere.
Elsewhere – but not yet here. The federal budget relies on ever-more borrowing, while members of Congress fume but fail to find a plan to bring it back to balance.
Why is it so hard to balance the budget? One answer may be glimpsed in a small slice of life on Capitol Hill.
Kent Hance, chancellor of the Texas Tech University System, was in Washington last week, angling for earmarks – the pet spending measures members of Congress insert into other legislation.
Over a breakfast of granola and skim milk, Hance talked about getting $19 million from the Texas congressional delegation for research on wind energy, defeating improvised explosive devices and teaching Arabic and Chinese to the military.