We’re Almost Done With Deficit Reduction!

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The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has taken a look at projected future deficits and concludes that we need an additional $1.4 trillion in savings in order to stabilize the debt/GDP ratio at 73 percent by 2022. The chart on the right tells the story.

What’s really so striking about this is what they say after diving a little further into the numbers. If we split this equally between spending cuts and tax increases, we need about $600 billion of each. (The rest comes from interest savings.) That’s $60 billion per year. Or, if we did things rationally, it would come to zero dollars this year, increasing to perhaps $100 billion in 2022. For all the hue and cry from both sides, this is really not a huge amount of money. And if we did it, it would amount to total deficit reduction of nearly $4 trillion over the past couple of years.

This isn’t necessarily what I’d do if I were your benevolent overlord. But it’s hardly the end of the world as a baseline plan for now. After all, we can always change it in a few years if we don’t like how things are turning out.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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