First, we’re bleeding red ink.

Even after the economy recovers, we face deficits that could average about $1 trillion a year in the coming years and never dip below an economically harmful 4 percent of Gross Domestic Product…

Second, we can’t cut our deficit enough without raising taxes.

What’s mainly driving our long-term deficit is the growth of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, due to soaring health care costs and the emerging retirement of “baby boomers” who will become eligible for those programs. Americans won’t support big enough cuts in those programs alone to reduce the deficit.

Third, we can’t raise taxes just on those earning over $250,000.