Yesterday’s New York Time provided an opportunity for each individual to propose ways to close an estimated $400+ B Federal budget gap for 2015 and a $1.3+ B budget gap for 2030. The exercise is structured in such a way as to show you how much “savings” is generated by each action. For example, the complete elimination of farm subsidies would yield an estimated $14B per year. As noted by many, including the co-chairs of the Presidents Deficit Reduction Commission (addressed in a previous blog entry), “fixing the budget” cannot be done without considering cuts in Medicare, Social Security, and Defense spending. My first attempt can be found here.
The fundamental question, directly posed by Clive Cook in today’s Financial Times, is: Will the President back the commission co-chairs, and thus demonstrate serious leadership, or will he – in the time honored tradition of political discourse – duck the issue? Who will be the losers in this game of “duck, duck, goose?”