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Democrats Must Step Up on Entitlement Reform for Fiscal Cliff Deal

PPI President Will Marshall speaks to The Daily Beast regarding the compromises needed from the left to avoid the fiscal cliff:

‘It appears President Obama is serious about slowing the growth of public health and retirement costs, which is the key to bending down the curve of federal spending,’ says Will Marshall, president and founder of the Progressive Policy Institute. ‘The big question now is whether leading Democrats in Congress will stand up to the Norquists of the left and put real entitlement reform on the table.’

That is the big question. Labor unions rightly believe that they were essential to the president’s winning coalition and ground-game effort in the November election. They and many liberal partisans will insist that now is not the time to make any concessions, especially on core philosophic policies like Social Security and Medicaid. They will find comfort in the arguments of some party activists and pundits who say there is no problem, that the fiscal cliff is a myth, and that current levels of deficits and debt are perfectly sustainable, especially if we just soak the rich. They are, like their conservative corollaries, embracing a feel-good reality distortion field.

Math isn’t partisan. The Congressional Budget Office has projected that because of our aging population, cumulative spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and interest on the debt could gobble all federal revenues by the end of the next decade. The status quo is unsustainable. We cannot simply tax or spend or borrow our way out of this problem. Striking the right decisive balance is critical to our long-term economic strength as a nation.

Read the entire article at The Daily Beast.