Editorial: The Coming Debt Panic

Publication: The Washington Post


12/14/2009 - Its time to stop worrying about the deficit -- and start panicking about the debt. To put it another way, short-term deficits aren't the real problem. The punishing hangover of borrowed money is. The ballooning national debt once looked like a long-term problem. Now, the long-term has become the middle-term, fast-forwarded by the cratering economy and the unavoidable and immense spending in the service of saving it.

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The fiscal situation was serious before the recession. It is now dire. An important proposal being released Monday by the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform urges Congress and the White House to commit immediately to stabilizing the debt at 60 percent of GDP by 2018; come up with a credible plan for getting there; and begin phasing in the necessary policy changes in 2012, once the recovery is fully underway.

Read the full editorial The Coming Debt Panic on The Washington Post's Web site.

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