Trending
MOST READ
SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

News: Data and records obtained by the Current show that between January 1, 2013, and early October of this year the San Antonio... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta and Elaine Wolff 10/22/2014
Alamo Ice House Brings Hill Country to Downtown

Alamo Ice House Brings Hill Country to Downtown

Food & Drink: There was a special kind of draw at Alamo Ice House on a recent Tuesday evening. A handful of weeks after opening its... By Jessica Elizarraras 10/22/2014

Best Local Artist

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

College Issue 2014: Sell clothes. Plato’s Closet is a great place to take your gently worn apparel in exchange for cold, hard cash. They accept clothes, shoes and... By Brittany Minor 8/18/2014
6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

Food & Drink: Cheesy Jane’s. Multiple locations, cheesyjanes.com. If the name is any indicator, this San Antonio staple doesn’t mess around when it comes to... By Tommie Ethington 10/22/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Arts & Culture

Q&A with Former Houston Mayor Bill White

Photo: , License: N/A



Related stories


The former mayor of Houston and 2010 Democratic candidate for Texas governor, Bill White talks to the Current about his new book, a critique of America’s recent and growing reliance on borrowing.

 

What inspired you to write this book?

I love history and the story of traditional limits on federal debt had not been told. After 2000, the nation abandoned some of its historical budget practices that had preserved a better future for generations of Americans, and I wanted to tell the story of why that had been done.

You write about how the Bush administration essentially put the Afghanistan and Iraq wars on a credit card, financing them strictly by debt—what is the impact on our economy today?

The cost of disguising the expansive wars and other government expenses by debt is now being felt in the form of rising interest expense paid by the federal government that by 2020 … will be as great as the total personal income taxes that were collected in 2010. So just like a family or business, as debt escalates then monthly interest payments go up, and that leaves less to pay for everything else. And it gives current taxpayers less current value for their tax dollars.

How has the current administration handled fiscal borrowing?

The approaches to borrowing for routine expenses are not all that different from the Obama administration than the Bush administration and that is not simply the fault of the White House; in each case Congress ultimately controls the purse strings. The book tells the remarkable story of how before 2000, both conservatives and progressives agreed on the need to balance the budget, but today there is no mainstream member of Congress who has advocated a budget this year, next year or the year after that would balance revenue and expenses. This is a completely new development in American politics.

What are some myths or commonly held beliefs about our nation’s debt crisis, past or present, that you deconstruct?

Many people think that the U.S. has never balanced the budget but in fact, for about 180 years the federal government never borrowed except for during extraordinary purposes.… Another myth is that somehow it all started during the New Deal but we’d always plugged the holes during the downturns beginning … in 1819.

Keep up with all of our San Antonio Book Festival coverage, here.

 

San Antonio Book Festival

Bill White, moderated by Evan Smith

10am, Sat, April 5
Central Library Auditorium
Sapfl.org/festival

Recently in Arts & Culture
  • SA Design Maven D’Ette Cole and the Topography of Junk D’Ette Cole has been an artist, interior designer, antiques dealer and even a pie. Simply put, she notices everything, and has built her career on... | 10/22/2014
  • Failure Is Not an Option: George Lopez returns to SA It is evident comedian George Lopez is still a little sensitive about the on-again, off-again relationship he’s had with television. Whatever the... | 10/22/2014
  • Free Will Astrology ARIES (March 21-April 19): The driest place on the planet is the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. It gets about a half-inch of rain per year. And yet in 2011, archaeologists discovered that it’s also home to a site containing the fossilized skeletons of nu | 10/22/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus