One of the great skits from the days of Monty Python's Flying Circus was the "Stake Your Claim Game Show." The first contestant on this show is introduced as claiming that he wrote the complete works of Shakespeare. By asking the contestant's age, the host is able to quickly determine that works of Shakespeare were known for several hundred years before he was born. At that point the contestant acknowledges that this is where his claim breaks down and concedes that the host is more than the match for him.
I felt sort of like this contestant when I saw that Greg Mankiw had discovered that Ron Paul's plan to destroy the $1.6 trillion in government bonds held by the Fed (which I endorsed) to get around the debt ceiling was "just an accounting gimmick." Clearly Mr. Mankiw is more than the match for me.
Of course it is an accounting gimmick. We have an accounting problem (the debt ceiling). It cries out for an accounting solution.
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