The century began with the U.S. having a budget surplus. But in the next eight years, two unfunded wars, two tax cuts that weren’t paid for, and a big prescription drug benefit that also wasn’t paid for turned the surplus into big deficits. When the economy dramatically receded, the federal government borrowed to bail-out banks and auto makers and to stimulate growth. And then there are the promises made to millions of Americans of Social Security and Medi-care. A commission that begins meeting this week will make recommendations, but where should the focus be? Rolling back Social Security and Medicare? Raising taxes? If so, on whom?
Where should deficit reduction work focus?
Posted Nov. 29, 2010, at 3 p.m.