Balancing the budget will require some tough decisions. Congress must reduce discretionary spending in real terms, with exceptions for key programs such as military, veterans, and public safety. The Congress must also reject costly new spending initiatives, like new health care entitlements.
There is, alas, a problem:
Someone needs to tell Pawlenty that discretionary spending except for "military, veterans, and public safety" is less than $400 billion a year. A real reduction of, say 10 percent (a ridiculous amount but use it for simplicity sake) would save a little more than $40 billion from the baseline and that doesn't come close to doing what needs to be done.
Finish us off, Matt Yglesias:
If I were planning on running for election, I might not be comfortable saying “to deal with the long-term federal budget deficit we need higher taxes and we need to slow the growth of Medicare spending.” But if you’re not willing to say “we need higher taxes and we need to slow the growth of Medicare spending” then you shouldn’t run around talking about the long-term federal budget deficit. There’s really nothing else to say about it.
Fictive Republican budget hawkery strikes again!