Andrew Jackson has raised the debt and deficit phobia in his recent post at Progressive Economics:
We seem set to go into the next election - which could be in a matter of days - with both the Conservatives and Liberals firmly committed to bringing the federal Budget back into balance in a relatively short time frame, with no tax increases. There appears to be no sign of a break in the conventional wisdom that "exit strategies" from temporary fiscal stimulus should be pursued as a matter of urgency, and I fear that the NDP may well be pushed in the same direction.
That would leave us with remarkably little to talk about over the course of a campaign. If we are not prepared to countenance some combination of deficits and tax increases, then there can be no significant increase in public investments in services, social programs or in green infrastructure and jobs. To the contrary, the only thing left to have an honest debate about would be where to cut spending (which won't stop politicians invoking a fantasy world in which we return to strong growth while balancing budgets.)...
Mr. Jackson raises an important question, but doesn't attempt an answer. How does a political party with aspirations of forming government successfully engage an electorate mired in a morass of "no deficits, lower taxes, more services" in a discussion about the merits of more deficit spending? How does the same political party convey an optimism that debt will not weigh heavily on future aspirations? Are there revenue measures that a majority of the electorate will embrace if framed appropriately? Is there an example(s) of a winning campaign that has run on such a message?