To balance our budget we must make cuts equal to or more than $400 billion per year. That is about two-thirds of all discretionary spending, or the combined budgets of the Departments of Commerce, State, Treasury, Energy, Homeland Security, HUD, Education, Justice and Transportation. Or, we could simply eliminate both the U.S. Army and Navy.
What the U.S. needed was a long-term fix that instilled some confidence in our leadership and pressed people back into work. These long-term fixes could have been forestalled by a year or two, or even three. Under such a scenario, our economy might have strengthened enough to grow through spending cuts and tax increases. Sadly, such a fix required foresight and leadership of which we are in short supply.
Michael J. Hicks, Ph.D., is director of the Center for Business and Economic Research and a professor of economics at Ball State University. Contact him at email@example.com.