If You Don't Know Joe Minarik, You Should
Joe Minarik has the resume that most budget people only dream about. He's the former chief economist for the Office of Management and Budget and the House Budget Committeen and currently is senior vice president and director of research for the Committee for Economic Development.
(In case you're not familiar with CED, it's the very highly regarded organization of current and retired senior corporate leaders that's been around for 70 years and since it began has been dedicated to providing business expertise to public policy issues.)
Joe is also someone I've known well for just about as long as I've been working on the budget, and that's now closer to 40 than 30 years.
For all these reasons, but especially because it's so well-written and straight forward, you should really take a look at this short and incredibly readable post by Joe from the CED "Back in the Black" blog called "Fixing The Budget: What’s In It For Us."
To my mind, here's the money quote:
So deficit reduction is not the eternal answer to every question, nor will it be easy or painless. It should not be pursued for its own sake in blind confidence that it will solve every ill. However, given our nation’s overgrown debt, we must find our way there soon; and for all of the difficulties enumerated above, there will be benefits as well.