America cannot afford politics as usual at a moment of such vital import. Many Americans have experienced great hardship since the recession began; and economic conditions could well remain stressed for an extended period. Policy decisions can make a real, immediate difference, for better or for worse.
The first imperative is to meet the goal of cutting the deficit by $4,000bn over 10 years, by a balance of revenue increases and reductions in all categories of spending. The argument against raising taxes during a recession is a red herring and it is delusional to think our fiscal problems can be solved by cutting non-defence discretionary spending.
However, if linked to serious longer-term deficit reduction, a temporary stimuluscould well be warranted to boost demand.
For the longer term, our success depends on a sound fiscal regime.