Big bankers, heads of major corporations, Wall Street financiers and a significant number of national elected officials now claim the US deficit is the single greatest problem facing the American economy and our collective future. They are behind various plans to severely slash government spending on social services and even Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid to the tune of trillions of dollars over the next 10 years. Others would like to see revenues (essentially, taxes) increased or earlier tax cuts for wealthier Americans rescinded, although there is little serious discussion of such options by national politicians.
Unfortunately, the current debate over the U.S. deficit offers little hope for those concerned with the overall state of the U.S. economy, the huge program cutbacks being made by state and local governments that are harming real people all around the country (see Of Tuition Hikes and Salary Spikes), and the lack of job prospects for millions of Americans.
In his careful, understated way, Lavelle suggests another way to begin achieving significant deficit reduction without sacrificing the social safety net. It is a short read. Check it out.
* note: a "white paper" is term used for a report or guide that is researched and written to help citizens, elected officials and policy makers make decisions and solve difficult problems.