Q: Do you think the proposed $500 billion reduction in the federal deficit to $1.1 trillion in fiscal year 2012 represents sufficient progress on the path to balancing the budget in the years ahead?
No. The President’s 2012 budget fails to address the root cause of our long-term deficit problem—the benefit obligations of social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and health care now mandated by law. Although the President’s plan and economic recovery are forecast to shrink the deficit to only about 3% of GDP by 2020 from this year’s 11%, failure to address the entitlement programs will quickly start driving the deficit higher again thereafter. The President plans to meet “behind closed doors” with Republicans later this year to deal with entitlements. What happened to transparency? Hard decisions are now necessary. It is time to begin.