Congressman John Kasich of Ohio, 43, author of the most radical U.S. budget plan in decades, talked last week with Time correspondent Karen Tumulty about the political climate that has suddenly made a balanced budget "a very doable deal."

TIME: People have talked about balancing the budget for years. What makes you think you can do it this time?

Kasich: One of the most important things that happened is when the balanced-budget amendment went down. That night, somebody came in and told me, "Well, Newt said we're going to zero anyway." And that's when I was convinced that we would actually...

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