Lars Larson: We can have a balanced federal budget by 2017

Is there any reason we can’t have a balanced federal budget within the next decade?

The president plans on unbalanced budgets going out a decade into the future, well past the end of his first, and let’s hope only, term of office.

But, I talked with Dan Mitchell from the Cato Institute. He says we could have a balanced budget much sooner than that if you look at the numbers. He says that the reason we are going to have an unbalanced budget is that the bureaucracy assumes they are going to grow every single year. They call it current service level.

He says if we held the growth of government to just 1% we’d have a balanced budget by 2017. We’d still have about 20 trillion dollars in debt that would need to be paid off. But, at least the government would be down to spending just what they take in.

If we held it to 2% we could still be balanced by 2021. How’s that as a different assumption than the presidents assumption that we’ll run a trillion dollar deficit every year for the next decade?

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