America actually has two deficits: a budget deficit, and a jobs deficit. The jobs deficit is a problem in the near term, while the budget deficit is more of a medium- and long-term problem. That’s why we need to extend the Bush tax cuts for two years, and then let them expire completely, argues Peter Orszag, President Obama’s ex-budget director, in his first column for the New York Times.
“No one wants to make the already stagnating job market worse” by eliminating the tax cuts now, writes Orszag. But over the medium term, we can’t afford them. “Although hardly anyone wants to admit it, we’re not going to solve our budget problem over the next decade unless revenue is part of the equation,” and that means raising taxes. He lays out the budget, and explains that even aggressive spending cuts won’t be enough.