By the end of the week, the political landscape in Washington will have changed. We will have a new Congress and attention will quickly turn to the 2012 presidential contest.
Yet, regardless of who ends up in charge of Congress, or who begins making frequent trips to Iowa and New Hampshire, certain facts will remain the same.
Health care costs, including Medicare and Medicaid, will still be growing faster than the economy. Social Security will still promise more benefits than it can pay under current law. We’ll still be fighting two wars. The costs of extending all the expiring 2001 and 2003 tax cuts will still top $4 trillion. The economy will still be stagnant. And for all these reasons, the debt will still be on an unsustainable track.
Welcome to Washington, 112th Congress. The nation awaits your solutions to these continuing threats.
Not since 1992, when independent presidential candidate Ross Perot captured 19 percent of the popular vote, has fiscal policy been such a dominant issue in a national election. Voters are clearly uneasy with trillion dollar deficits and a growing debt that is on track to reach World War II levels over the next decade.