Summary of Going Big on Deficit Reduction Is Dead. Now What?

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Going Big on Deficit Reduction Is Dead. Now What? summary
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The time for radically reducing US debt has come and gone, says Ron Haskins, former senior adviser on welfare policy to President George W. Bush. Haskins, now of the Brookings Institution, argues that the best America can achieve over the next 10 years is a stabilization of the national debt at 73% of GDP – and even that will prove challenging. Haskins offers fiscally conservative ideas on how to rein in debt, though his benefits-oriented opponents will surely disagree. While always politically neutral, getAbstract finds that Haskins’s brief overview offers a sober analysis of the limited options he sees as available to Congress and the administration.

About the Author

Ron Haskins is the co-director of the Brookings Center on Children and Families and the Budgeting for National Priorities Project. He is a former White House adviser on welfare.



Conventional wisdom says America’s growing national debt will eventually bankrupt the US economy, but undaunted investors continue to buy federal debt despite its low return. Since the economic end isn’t nigh, proponents of Medicare’s current configuration feel justified in maintaining the status quo: “Don’t take anything away from the elderly, continue borrowing a trillion or so a year and, above all, don’t do anything to harm the limping economy.”

Most Republicans are reluctant to raise taxes, and most Democrats protect benefits, but they...

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