Deficit Crisis Countdown: 20 Days to Armageddon

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Bruce Bartlett makes a prediction:

And just in time, look who’s here to help!

CBO says there are 121 options in this report, but that’s not really correct. For starters, we can eliminate all the ones that raise taxes. That’s just crazy talk. Then there’s military spending, and obviously we can’t afford to cut that. And there are nine that are so small they’re relegated to an appendix. We can skip those.

So that leaves 56 options. Those include cuts to Medicare and Social Security, and I think we all know they’re going nowhere. So now we’re down to 41 options. If we adopted every single one of them, it would cut the federal budget by somewhere between 2.6 percent and 3.8 percent.

My prediction, of course, is that we’ll adopt zero of these. But I guess the game must be played. After two years of being in power and ballooning the deficit, Republicans must pretend that now the deficit is suddenly urgent again. Just like it suddenly became urgent on January 20, 2009.

It’s all such dumb, kindergarten-level stuff. But Bartlett is right: everyone will pretend to go along with it. Sigh.


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

payment methods

We Recommend