State and local governments as a whole have kept spending growth in line with revenues growth and so have contained the flow of red ink. This is good news, even with all the caveats. There are, however, longer-term concerns.
I've not paid much attention to the latest disturbance in the tax reform force: the zero-based plan by Senators Baucus and Hatch to wipe out all tax expenditures and insist that advocates argue the merits of each one if they want them put back in the tax code.
As the fiscal picture has improved, both through actions we've taken already and the improving economy, it's much tougher to make the hair-on-fire urgency case that drove this benighted debate in recent years.