How big of a problem is the national deficit?

Feb 2, 2010

Perhaps in a foreshadowing of his $3.8 trillion budget proposal coming down the pike, President Obama last week proposed—and the Congress rejected—a bill to create a special commission to address the federal deficit. Yesterday (Monday), he effectively increased that deficit to $1.6 trillion for this fiscal year, leaving our national debt hovering somewhere around $13 trillion. And yet, Democrats generally seem too afraid to talk about cutting Social Security and the deficit remains one of Republicans’ favorite rhetorical weapons against the president; neither party really seems to want to talk about fixing it. President Obama said he’ll push through the commission by executive order, but last week’s antics still have many scratching their heads. Economist Dean Baker joins Patt with an alternative view on the debt.

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