Though their plans differ dramatically, President Obama and the GOP agree that the deficit needs to be reduced by about $4 trillion over the next 10 to 12 years, in order to reassure credit markets and get the debt under control.
Congress has less and less leeway for closing the budget deficit as outlays for entitlement programs grow.
President Obama called on America to maintain greatness through innovation. In his State of the Union address Tuesday, he also proposed cuts in defense and a partial budget freeze.
The tax cut deal that President Obama signed Friday costs $858 billion, making the cause of deficit reduction that much more challenging. But deficit hawks still see some hopeful signs.
After midterms, Congress must tackle $1 trillion budget deficit. Proposed: crack down on tax evaders, cut non-war defense spending, and let tax cuts for the wealthy expire as scheduled.
The prospect of a higher official retirement age infuriates many French. Boosting the age limit in the US is one way to help make Social Security solvent, many economists say. Would Americans be just as mad?
The small gap in Social Security is projected to increase over time, making a strong case for reforming the system sooner, rather than later.
A White House plan released Monday would give the president more power to cut 'pork' spending. But Congress controls the federal purse strings jealously.