Center for American Progress

Congressional Inaction Would Almost Erase the Deficit
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Congressional Inaction Would Almost Erase the Deficit

If Congress is unable to agree on ways to solve the deficit problem over the next 10 years—if there is a deadlock and nothing passes—then our federal budget deficit will all but disappear.

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Congress over the next 16 months will face some rather momentous fiscal decisions that will determine whether we maintain our current fiscal policies or if we change to a safer, more responsible course. These upcoming decision points are likely to spark several more rounds of finger pointing, shouting across the aisle, and irresponsible line-drawing on issues such as taxes, Social Security, and Medicare.

Unfortunately, given the influence of the Tea Party on conservatives in both chambers of Congress, the gap between Democrats and Republicans on these issues is wider than ever. But there is some surprising good news. If Congress is unable to agree on ways to solve the deficit problem over the next 10 years—if there is a deadlock and nothing passes—then our federal budget deficit will all but disappear.

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