According to Sen. Mark Warner:
It is both deficit reduction and tax reform, two of the three legs of the stool that I think we need to address. Because we’ve got to cut our spending, we’ve got to reform our tax code, and we’ve got to have an innovation and growth agenda for our whole country moving forward. It will take all three of those to actually get our deficit under control.
I actually agree with Sen. Warner on a lot of this, particularly the “growth agenda” for the country and “tax reform” (although the devil’s in the details, big time, on the latter). However, I disagree with Sen. Warner on a couple of points. First, I don’t believe it’s only a question of “when not if” we do deficit reduction. To the contrary, it’s mostly a question of “how” we do deficit reduction. And second, on that score, as I wrote yesterday, I agree with David Dayen when he argues, “I have a path to $4 trillion in budget solutions over 10 years – let the Bush tax cuts expire. That’s it.” Let’s start with that, then let’s look at tax reform and smart spending cuts – for instance, in the bloated defense budget – plus the all-important “growth agenda” (aka, “investment”) moving forward.