We face two huge challenges simultaneously. We must recover from the deep recession that has thrown millions out of work, slashed home values and closed businesses across the country. We also must take immediate steps to reduce the unsustainable debt that will be driven by the aging of the population, the rapid growth of health care costs, exploding interest costs, and the failure of policymakers to limit and prioritize spending and to pay for new programs.
Some observers have argued that policymakers need to choose between economic stimulus and deficit reduction. The task force, however, firmly believes it is important to take action on both fronts at once – accelerating the recovery and phasing in deficit reduction.
Because the deficit reduction necessarily phases in slowly, we should not delay its implementation. Moreover, having a strong deficit reduction effort in place actually will help the recovery because it will stimulate confidence in the economy that is essential to investment and the creation of new jobs.