Not to be outdone by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Deficit, the Center for Economic Policy Research has a new budget calculator out that lets you put more liberal policies into play and see what happens to the debt level in 2020. I got us below 60 percent (the magic number, at least according to some budget hawks) by ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, creating a Medicare-like public option, adding a modest carbon tax, adding a financial transactions tax, allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, increasing the cap on taxable earnings for Social Security, converting the mortgage-interest deduction to a 15 percent credit, and letting the estate tax return on schedule.
Oh, and I did all this while adding $2.1 trillion in infrastructure, R&D, and education spending, and increasing the generosity of Social Security benefits. I am a budget genius!
Gee. You’d almost think the deficit debate was a cover story for Republicans to slash social spending.