Driving the Day: Coping with Some Snow and Massive Deficits
Nothing grinds Washington to a halt like snow, not even partisan gridlock. Despite weather, the Senate will be in session today, debating a serious of “modest” rules changes, one of which would cede some of the Senate’s advice and consent power to the executive branch.
Even more alarming than snow, gridlock or additional czars was the latest analysis from the Congressional Budget Office: permanent trillion dollar deficits!
These spending and deficit trends are unsustainable. Historic increases in federal spending are set to create permanent trillion-dollar deficits, eventually pushing the national debt past 100 percent of the GDP. Without change, the nation could potentially face a Greece-like economic crisis.
This is unacceptable. Fundamental spending reforms are required to avert a budget crisis. Lawmakers should immediately bring non-defense discretionary spending down to 2008 or even 2006 levels. Next, they should enact tough spending caps to help lawmakers set priorities and make trade-offs. Then, Congress should disclose the massive unfunded obligations of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and put those programs on long-term budgets. Finally, lawmakers should enact the necessary entitlement and programmatic reforms that can keep government within those limits.
These spending reforms may not be easy, but the alternative—record government debt and historic tax increases—is even worse.