Death by 1,000 Cuts

If the federal government collected a dime for every time someone said, “All we have to do to balance the budget is cut spending,” we wouldn’t have a deficit problem. Far from true deficit hawks, these “deficit peacocks” all fail to acknowledge that closing the budget gap entirely on the spending side would require draconian programmatic cuts – cuts that would affect Americans’ everyday lives, threaten the fundamentals of our health and safety, and reduce investments in science and technology, which undergird innovation in our economy.

We do need to get serious about our looming budget problems. In the long term, fiscal responsibility will only come through controlling America’s health care costs by reforming the way we deliver health care. But in the medium term, any responsible approach necessarily includes the understanding that trying to balance the budget entirely through spending cuts would be needlessly painful, not to mention nearly impossible.

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The above excerpt was originally published in Politico.