Of the additional spending since the start of the financial crisis, only $360 billion was needed to accommodate inflation. More than $666 billion is new spending, originally promoted as “temporary” to deal with the recession, but now settling in to become permanent.
Merely letting the payroll tax reduction and other temporary provisions championed by Obama lapse on Jan. 1 and returning federal spending to pre-recession levels would erase nearly $900 billion from the deficit. The Bush tax cuts need not be touched, at least not to solve today’s deficits.
The real problems are two-fold. Republicans such as Senators Saxby Chambliss, Lamar Alexander, and Lindsey Graham, who are prepared to validate Obama’s spending spree by increasing tax revenue, would like their constituents to believe they are fiscal conservatives, when it seems they really have no stomach to curb spending the nation can’t afford.