Some members of Congress are threatening a government shutdown on October 1 unless a new round of spending cuts is enacted—cuts that ignore the nation’s true, improved fiscal and economic outlook. Federal budget deficits have actually shrunk dramatically in recent years. The national debt is no longer on the brink of exploding. But our economy continues to struggle; the Census Bureau recently reported that income inequality is growing while middle-class wages are stagnant. The 15 charts in a new CAP column illustrate how much the fiscal picture has changed, and why—in order to get the economy back on track—the debate must change with it.
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