Dancing Around the Deficit

Huffing and puffing, Congress tries a budget-balancing act

Few problems have prompted more political posturing, and less effective action, than the federal deficit. Despite a penchant for proposing panaceas, Congress has never found a way to kick its habit of overspending and surrendering to special interests. So last week, with an air of desperation, it concocted a magic cure-all and prepared to swallow it, knowing little about its efficacy or possible side effects. Faced with the necessity of raising the ceiling on the accumulated national debt to more than $2 trillion, about 120% higher than when Ronald Reagan took office, the Senate's Republican leadership hastily pushed through a radical...

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