Peter S. Canellos
The overspending myth
At the recent Republican convention, speaker after speaker, culminating in the presidential and vice-presidential nominees, decried overspending as the source of the nation’s economic ills. By contrast, seemingly no one mentioned a lack of restraints on financial speculation by banks, or lax underwriting standards for mortgages. Those were the established causes of the collapses of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, and the meltdowns that hobbled so many other financial institutions, thereby triggering the Great Recession.