In This Review

The Debt And The Deficit: False Alarms/Real Possibilities
The Debt And The Deficit: False Alarms/Real Possibilities
By Robert Heilbroner and Peter Bernstein
Norton, 1989, 140 pp

This stimulating book provides the pleasure of puncturing the balloon of oversimplification and the intellectual satisfaction of elegant delineation of the many ways national debts can be measured and shown to be useful as well as harmful. The analysis of how the American fiscal deficit arose further subverts conventional wisdom and the authors make the familiar case for a capital budget. They take seriously the import surplus and agree that the budget deficit is a very real problem; but they are not very clear about how they would deal with these two issues during the substantial period of time it would take to act on the more fundamental problems of the national economy that they list.