Care to hear a politician -- a Democratic congressional leader, in fact -- getting it wrong on the deficit? Listen to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer addressing a Third Way event in Washington at the end of June:
This month, a Gallup poll asked Americans to name the greatest threats facing our country. Two answers tied for the top choice. One was terrorism. The other was debt.
This is a remarkable moment in political history -- a time when our creeping fiscal danger of our $9 trillion of publicly held debt troubles Americans as much as the prospect of the most brutal attacks on our country. More than ever, Americans understand the danger of debt: a stagnant economy, a hobbled government, and a weak national defense.
Economic Sentiments: Adam Smith, Condorcet, and the Enlightenment By Emma Rothschild. Harvard University Press, 353 pages, $45.00
Should you care about the Enlightenment? Yes, you should, and more than a little, says Emma Rothschild, the distinguished British economist. In Economic Sentiments, Rothschild reinterprets the Enlightenment by breathing new life into Adam Smith, Jacques Turgot, and a fellow named Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, somewhat better known as the marquis de Condorcet.