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Interview With Nancy Pelosi: We Will Spend Our Way Out of This Mess

I chatted with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi yesterday as she was passing through the San Francisco Bay Area. I have known Nancy for 15 years, and every campaign brought a visit to my home. I'll share a few of her thoughts. She was breathing fire and spitting nails as usual. With the public fuming over banksters’ bonuses and bail outs, Wall Street can pretty much count on a Congressional investigation of the causes of the crash, much like the Pecora Commission did in 1932. Health care, essentially a global competitiveness issue, isn’t going to wait for better times either. A bill for a combined public-private national insurance system will reign in the runaway cost of Medicare and Medicaid, the most rapidly growing entitlements. Expect the fireworks to start soon. Investment in education yields the largest source of tax revenues for the Treasury, so expect on more spending there too. Obama plans to cut his $1 trillion budget deficit by a third by the end of his first term, and two thirds by the end of the second. If Congress can’t do this, inflation will rear its ugly head. No kidding. Debt service already exceeds $250 billion a year, or 8% of the total budget. Only “pay as you go” programs will pass to reign in the deficit. The Feds are also going to go after $300 billion in uncollected taxes. Earmarks, which rose by 400% under the Republicans, will be cut in half, and the remainder published on the Internet. Growing up in an Italian American political dynasty that produced two mayors of Baltimore, the petite Nancy used a seat on the San Francisco Library Committee as a springboard to become the most powerful woman in the world in a mere 22 years. She has moved from the kitchen to the kitchen cabinet on the coatails of Obamaphoria. Now the Republican Party’s worst nightmare, she has the power to get a lot of what she wants done.