Work on Deficit is far from Over
President Clinton dramtically emphasized last month what he hopes will be one of his great legacies: The decline and
disappearance of the once-whopping federal budget deficit.
At one time, Clinton said, the deficit for 1998 had been projected to be $357 billion, and was heading up. It is now
$10 billion, and heading down. America islooking at the first balanced budget in thirty years, he explained, and a
deficit that contains elenven zeros "will be simply zero."
That would be a remarkable feat were it not for one thing. The reason for much of that deficit spending -- unchecked
federal entitlement spending -- is still out there.
What happens when peace, or prosperity, or both, end for some unseen reason? Those budget deficits will return with
a vengeance because the real work -- reforming entitlement programs and cutting federal spending has not been done by
those in Washington.