The crisis no one is facing
The Washington Post
Republicans and Democrats have the same plan for the massive hole in the federal budget: “Do nothing,” said Robert Samuelson. The latest projections from the Congressional Budget Office are “gruesome.” Thanks to falling revenue from Republican tax cuts and a bipartisan spending binge, the deficit will leap to $1 trillion by 2020, with the federal government adding another $12.4 trillion to our $21 trillion national debt over the next 10 years. Exploding the deficit during a strong economy makes no sense, and may lead to rising interest rates—and at some unpredictable point, to a collapse in U.S. creditworthiness. “Political expediency” is to blame. “It’s more popular to increase spending and cut taxes than the opposite.” Balancing the budget will require annual spending cuts and tax increases that add up to $1 trillion—an unpopular combination that neither party has the courage to support. Liberals don’t want Medicare, Social Security, and other entitlements touched, even though they equal about 70 percent of federal spending. Conservatives refuse to countenance tax hikes, even though without them “spending cuts would be unacceptably severe.” Eventually, the bill for this willful blindness will come due.