Next, we come to the argument made by Reich that attempts to balance the budget are what exacerbated the Great Depression in 1937. This silly notion has been disproved time and again. If deficit spending worked and was actually able to boost "aggregate demand", balancing the budget eight years after the depression started wouldn't have been an issue because there had been nothing but federal intervention and deficit spending since the crash in 1929 (I am surprised that no one brought up Hoover and his alleged do-nothingness for good measure). Government spending can not "make up" for slouching consumer demand. It merely crowds out private investment in less efficient production. Any would-be gain is lost in diminished efficiency and higher borrowing costs, not to mention higher taxes.
Then there is the argument that now is not the time to cut spending. Ostensibly because government is needed to boost demand. This assumes that liberals and democrats would be enthusiastic supporters of spending cuts when things are going well. But of course, the argument then is either "well, we have the money, why not spend it" and "if we don't spend this money on these programs, aggregate demand will sag thus causing a recession." This would appear to be having it both ways, no?
What it boils down to is that congress was given authority to handle a few things. And bribing foreign governments and making sure the folks in some remote corner of Wyoming can hear Morning Edition aren't among them. The responsibility of congress should be to keep spending and taxes as low as possible (and please stop comparing our tax rates to other countries, I don't care if people in Norway are just ducky with an effective 70% tax rate, that doesn't mean I have to). The burden for any new proposed spending measure should be if it falls clearly within congress' authority.