A Little More Revenue Could Go a Long Way

The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson discusses why and how the government should balance the budget.

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Do progressives care about reducing the national debt? Of course they do, no matter what the White House might believe.

"We think that obviously there are some Democrats who don't feel as strongly about deficit reduction as [President Obama] does," senior adviser David Plouffe said Wednesday at a breakfast with reporters and columnists. But that's not obvious at all. It isn't even true.

There's no dispute about where we need to go. The question is what path to take.

Clearly, the federal government cannot continue spending at a rate of 25 percent of gross domestic product while taking in revenue that equals less than 15 percent of GDP, as is the case this year. We would reach the point where debt service crowds out health care, education and other priorities dear to progressives' hearts. Major investments the nation desperately needs to make -- for infrastructure and energy research, for example -- would be impossible. Decline would be inevitable.

The way to avoid this dystopian future is to bring spending and revenue more into balance. Yes, there will be some pain and sacrifice. But it is not necessary -- nor is it wise -- to heap a disproportionate share of the burden onto the backs of the poor, the elderly and the battered middle class.

Read the rest of the article at the Washington Post.

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