In the incessant yammering that continues about the federal budget deficit, one of the great underreported facts in recent months is that President Obama and Congress have actually already made enormous progress.
As Richard Kogan of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Allan Freyer of the Budget and Tax Center have reported here and here, the fiscal cliff deal combined with other decisions have combined to slash the projected deficit over the next decade by $2.7 trillion. Indeed, with another $1.5 trillion in savings/tax increases, the country will be in a good place on this issue.
Today, Kogan highlights (see the graph at left) another related and underreported fact about the deficit reduction already enacted: the vast majority of it (70%) comes from program cuts. Kogan’s data provides more compelling evidence that tax increases simply have to be a part of any new federal budget deal if the’re going to be a truly balanced approach to deficit reduction that doesn’t throw the country back into recession with Europe-like austerity.