September 1, 2011

Washington Scene: Dysfunction Has exceptions

By Warren Belmar

Washington remains as dysfunctional as ever, with no agreement in sight over how to reduce, let alone eliminate, annual budget deficits. Failure to reduce the deficits will require raising the ceiling on the national debt. Indeed, with annual budget deficits exceeding $1 trillion a year, even the most ambitious proposals on the table— calling for spending cuts and tax increases aggregating in the range of $3–$4 trillion over 10 years—will not avoid the donnybrook the Congress and the Obama administration will be facing when the current $16+ trillion debt ceiling is reached. However, rather than dwelling on the steady stream of bad news from Washington, D.C., this column will instead report on a recent success story for which the Congress and the Obama administration can be proud.

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