Reining In The Deficit By Doing Nothing?

Jun 24, 2011

We've seen the graph, before, but the liberal leaning site Talking Points Memo points it out again, today, and it's interesting enough that we'll pass it along.

The site points to two graphs that the Congressional Budget Office put side-by-side in its just-released long-term budget outlook (pdf). The point the office makes is that if Congress does nothing, the deficit — mind you, not the debt — comes even around the year 2016. That means that revenues and spending would even out then.

The Washington Post's Ezra Klein pointed the same thing out back in April and enumerated what "does nothing" means:

But nothing is hard to do. This nothing, for instance, includes three crucial elements: (1) All the Bush tax cuts expire, as they're currently scheduled to do; (2) The Medicare doc fix is either implemented or its repeal is paid for over the next 70 years; and (3) the Affordable Care Act is implemented, and all of its spending targets are met and all of its taxes are collected.

And here are the charts:

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