Is Deficit Panel Already Doomed?

The U.S. budget deficit is worse than ever. Taxes already have been raised, so efforts to narrow the shortfall should focus only on spending. The only fair deal is a straight trade: relief from the cuts under sequestration in return for reductions to entitlements. Yet there’s no incentive for Democrats to go along.

All of these statements are accepted by the public and important politicians. All are false. …

A starting — and false — premise of the public, and some politicians, is that the deficit is spiraling out of control. In a national survey by Bloomberg News last month, Americans said, by a margin of 59 percent to 10 percent, the deficit was getting worse; this belief was held by 93 percent of Tea Party supporters.

In fact, the deficit, which reached a staggering $1.55 trillion in the 2009 fiscal year, has declined every year since and is less than half as big today. CONT.

Al Hunt, Bloomberg