When faced with the numbers, most Americans are willing to take on the shared sacrifice necessary to eventually stabilize the federal debt, according to Paul Hansen, western states regional director for The Concord Coalition.
“The protracted debate in Washington on whether we need more revenue or less spending is lost on most of us,” he writes in a recent op-ed. “We know we need both.”
Hansen points out that federal revenue as a percentage of the gross domestic product is well below the post-World War II average, while current federal spending is well above the historical average.
So significant changes in the tax code, the big federal entitlement programs and the health care system are essential. While a faster-growing economy would help, that alone would not be sufficient to solve the problem.
Hansen’s guest column, printed in the Billings Gazette and several other newspapers, notes that the U.S. Conference of Mayors and two associations of state legislators have issued “compelling resolutions” that urge federal officials to put the country on a better long-term course.