A Sea of Red Ink

As, I hope, most Amer­i­cans are, I am con­cerned about the fed­er­al debt. Already high at the end of the Bush years, the fed­er­al deficit is now even high­er, and the fore­cast for future years is even worse.

Clear­ly this is unsustainable.

I vot­ed for Oba­ma and I sup­port his agen­da. But at some point the deficit/​debt must be addressed. I believe Oba­ma to be an intel­li­gent man and an astute politi­cian. He sure­ly under­stands the poten­tial prob­lems of con­tin­u­ing to pile up debt. I have to believe that he has a plan.

And the plan is this.* Effec­tive­ly deal­ing with the fed­er­al deficit will not be polit­i­cal­ly pop­u­lar. Pro­grams will have to be cut and tax­es raised. It will take a lot of Oba­ma’s polit­i­cal cap­i­tal to do this. So much so, that it would be dif­fi­cult for him to get his oth­er agen­da items through after deal­ing with the deficit.

Of course, get­ting his oth­er agen­da items through might not leave him with enough cap­i­tal to deal with the deficit. So what to do? By leav­ing the deficit for lat­er, it con­tin­ues to grow to obscene amounts. A year (or two?) from now, con­gress will have no choice but to get seri­ous about the deficit. Democ­rats will have to accept some pro­gram cuts and Repub­li­cans will have to accept some tax­es. They will be push­ing each oth­er aside to cut and raise more than the other.

A guy can dream, right?

*No, I have no inside info. This is com­plete­ly spec­u­la­tive on my part.

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