and afraid of
and plan to do something about
"In a federal budget filled with mind-boggling statistics, two numbers stand out as particularly stunning, for the way they may change American politics and American power.
"The first is the projected deficit in the coming year, nearly 11 percent of the country's entire economic output. ...
"But the second number, buried deeper in the budget's projections, is the one that really commands attention: By President Obama's own optimistic projections, American deficits will not return to what are widely considered sustainable levels over the next 10 years. In fact, in 2019 and 2020 -- years after Mr. Obama has left the political scene, even if he serves two terms -- they start rising again sharply, to more than 5 percent of gross domestic product. His budget draws a picture of a nation that like many American homeowners simply cannot get above water."
The truly shocking part of the budget is what was left out: a road map out of the economic calamity.
We have faced hard times before, but, with the possible exception of Jimmy Carter's "malaise" speech, never before has a president, essentially, thrown up his hands and not even offered a plan for how to fix a problem.
And yet, the 2011 budget proposes a budget that if carried out to the letter would assure "unsustainable deficits" (above 3 percent of GDP) forever. By unsustainable, economists mean that we would get steadily poorer as a country. Think of Spain in the 1700s -- the richest country in the world then has steadily gotten poorer for the last 300 years -- and counting.