Economists have been blamed for not warning about the housing crisis. Maybe fair criticism, maybe not. But here's a statement signed by 10 former chairs of the Council of Economic Advisors, warning specifcally and emphatically of the impending disaster in federal finances.
As former chairmen and chairwomen of the Council of Economic Advisers, who have served in Republican and Democratic administrations, we urge that the Bowles-Simpson report, “The Moment of Truth,” be the starting point of an active legislative process that involves intense negotiations between both parties.
There are many issues on which we don’t agree. Yet we find ourselves in remarkable unanimity about the long-run federal budget deficit: It is a severe threat that calls for serious and prompt attention.
I'm not a political scientist, so I don't know whether the country and the government will respond. But, at least this time, it's clear we've been warned.
On that point, one of the best--absolutely chilling--minutes of The Sopranos: "One thing you can never say: that you haven't been told."