Here’s one measure of the challenge: The president touts health reform in part because it will reduce the deficit — according to the CBO, by $143 billion in the next 10 years.
That sounds pretty good, until you consider that Obama would need the equivalent of 70 additional health bills to undo the $9.8 trillion that his budgets will add to the deficit during the next 10 years, according to the CBO…
Last summer I asked the president how he could overcome such inertia, given the almost impossible politics of deficit control. He suggested that events might jump-start the politics, when lenders start to fret about the creditworthiness even of the United States.
“I actually think that, sadly, decisions are going to be forced upon us,” he said. “I mean, I think that if we don’t show that we’re serious in some fashion, then I think you’re going to see a reluctance on the part of people who’ve been snapping up Treasurys to keep doing so. . . . And that, in some sense, will — certainly compels me, if I’m being responsible in my office, to push hard on this.”