This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.
The United States is following Greece down the path of fiscal ruin.
Blame Democrats who won’t touch social spending. Blame Republicans who categorically oppose tax increases. The hard reality is that neither low tax rates nor generous entitlements will count for much if crushing debt bankrupts America and leaves it at the mercy of the likes of China.
Americans must get past the hardened partisanship that has paralyzed its ability to get its financial house in order.
President Obama made a good down payment on fiscal responsibility last week when he proposed a two-year wage freeze for civilian federal workers. That’s not something liberal Democrats are supposed to do, but he did it.
America might get all the way to sustainable spending under the 10-year austerity plan outlined Wednesday by Obama’s deficit reduction panel. Chaired by former Sen. Alan Simpson, a Wyoming Republican, and Erskine Bowles, former Clinton chief of staff, the panel has impeccable bipartisan credentials.
It proposes to spread the pain far and wide. For example, the plan would:
• End popular tax breaks – including deductions for mortgage interest and employer health plans – to pay for a simpler tax code with lower across-the-board rates.
Read more »