Deficits do matter. Projections show risks to the economy, an extra “debt tax” on every taxpayer, and highlight the weakened ability of the federal government to invest in the future or respond to unforeseen emergencies. Cutting fraud, waste, and abuse, curbing earmarks, raising taxes on the very wealthy, or streamlining the staffing of the federal government is simply not enough to solve the problem.
Comprehensive solutions may take considerable time to develop, and once implemented, should be subject to periodic review. However, as a framework for action the next President should:
- commit to a balanced budget
- take every reasonable step to constrain the rising cost of heath care and retirement programs Social Security and, most especially, Medicare
- make clear to Americans that taxes cannot be cut over the long-term unless programs are cut commensurately, and
- prevent total spending, taxes, or debt from reaching levels that could reduce economic growth and future standards of living
Opportunity 08 aims to help 2008 presidential candidates and the public focus on critical issues facing the nation, presenting policy ideas on a wide array of domestic and foreign policy questions. The project is committed to providing both independent policy solutions and background material on issues of concern to voters.