Deficit Editorial -NY Times

Good editorial on the deficit:
 
In a nutshell: (from article)
 
Growth will not be enough. There is no chance to put the budget on a sustainable path without significant tax increases, and not just on the wealthy. Few politicians, of either party, are willing to tell that truth.
 
Playing on Americans’ deep anxiety about the economy, Republican politicians have seized the deficit issue as their own — eagerly blaming the stimulus and even an extension of unemployment insurance for the problem — while denying their own culpability for helping dig this deep hole with years of irresponsible tax cuts.
 
We agree the situation is unsustainable. But cutting spending right now on relief and recovery efforts would worsen the economic slowdown and the suffering of millions of Americans, while making only a tiny dent in future deficits.
 
When it comes to controlling the near-term problem — trillion-dollar deficits every year for the next 10 years — the biggest help will be a return to solid economic growth and, with that, increasing tax revenues.
Growth will not be enough. There is no chance to put the budget on a sustainable path without significant tax increases, and not just on the wealthy. Few politicians, of either party, are willing to tell that truth.
 
HOW DID WE GET HERE? When President Bill Clinton left office in 2001, the government had run surpluses for three straight years. By the time President George W. Bush left the White House, the government had run deficits for seven straight years, and the Congressional Budget Office projected a 2009 deficit of over $1 trillion.
Much of the deterioration resulted from huge Bush-era tax cuts, which left the nation chronically short of revenue, especially when it had to pay for two wars. And because the budget was already in bad shape when the financial crisis hit in late 2008, the necessary spending to rescue the system only deepened an already deep deficit. Unchastened, Republicans — joined by a few Democrats — are now determined to dig the hole even deeper by calling for all of the Bush tax cuts to be extended beyond their scheduled expiration at the end of this year.
 
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