Sunday, November 14, 2010

So many educational opportunities

The NY Times has an interactive budget puzzle to help people understand the nature of the structural budget deficit and the short-term deficit. It uses proposals from the Obama administration as well as the recent draft report from the deficit commission to help people see how EVERYTHING has to be part of the solution.

It is a pretty cool tool, however, it oversimplifies the matter, because although everyone can find something to love as well as something to loathe, it doesn't address the third-rail nature of tax cuts and defense spending, nor does it address the improbability that our ideologically divided congress will even be able to develop a grand bargain that everyone can hold their nose and say "Aye" for. Not only are these proposals anathema to half the legislature, but they have to be packaged together. This, unlike the healthcare bill, is no place for incrementalism.

While I believe that only Democrats can implement entitlement reform, I also think only Republicans can lead the charge for higher taxes. Unfortunately, we don't have much in the way of statespeople in charge of the House right now. The next 3-5 years are going to be politically hideous.

No comments: