Economic Program | Report

Death by a Thousand Cuts: Why Spending Cuts Alone Won’t Fix the Deficit

by David Kendall, David Brown and Gabe Horwitz

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As policymakers seek to address the fiscal cliff, two Third Way papers offer a warning to both parties that purely ideological fixes will not solve our fiscal crisis.

This report demonstrates the folly of solving the deficit problem through spending cuts alone. If we reduce deficits using only cuts, we will have, for example, 20,000 fewer FBI, DEA, and other federal agents and 50,000 fewer TSA screeners. While some Republicans, like Speaker Boehner, have supported a balanced plan with new revenue, the GOP base argues that we can balance the budget with cuts to entitlements and domestic spending, while we protect popular federal programs. But the math just doesn’t add up.

Please also see Necessary but Not Sufficient: Why Taxing the Wealthy Can’t Fix the Deficit which explodes the myth that our long term deficit can be solved mainly by taxing the rich.

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