The long term requires the Democrats in particular to commit to reviewing all our government programs, which are unsustainable. For example, the CBO long-term forecast indicated that spending on Social Security and healthcare could rise from 10 percent of GDP now to 16 percent of GDP over the next 25 years. We must seek spending cuts, including entitlement reforms, and have them equally matched by revenue increases to get our deficits under control.
Any deal to stop the economy from going off the cliff must be tied to a commitment to a long-term program worthy of this great nation. Tax increases, which Republicans hate, and spending cuts, which Democrats loathe, must be elaborated and pledged. Only presidential leadership, long absent on fiscal issues, can bring this about.