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The Short-Term Deficit Isn't a Problem But a Blessing. The Long-Term Deficit Is All About Health Costs. And the Medium-Term Deficit Is Only a Problem If We Make It One

Matthew Yglesias:

Debt Reduction By Doing Nothing: Given the amount of griping about debt reduction in Washington, it’s remarkable how little attention is paid to the fact that doing nothing solves the medium-term problem.

When we argue about the long-term deficit, we’re arguing about health care costs. But when we argue about the medium-term deficit, we’re primarily arguing about how to keep the deficit manageable consistent with extending a bunch of tax cuts. Politicians who are genuinely obsessed with the deficit as such should simply be saying, “I won’t vote for any tax cuts or spending increases that aren’t offset.