The midterm elections loom but everyone knows what the outcome will be: gridlock, gridlock and more gridlock. That's because the U.S. system is based on a 227-year-old prototype (circa 1787) that badly needs a refresh to match the efficiency and transparency that characterizes other, superior government systems.
The administration is officially committed to the idea that we need another $1.5 trillion in budget cuts over the next decade -- a rate of fiscal contraction half again as large as this year's Sequester, and for 10 full years. The White House shares with the Republican right and the corporate center-right the assumption that we achieve a full economic recovery by targeting a lower debt ratio by 2023, and that we reduce the debt ratio by cutting the deficit. As recent events have shown (in case there was any doubt) this sequence is backwards. The debt ratio comes down when the economy recovers. Fiscal contraction slows the recovery, and the loss of public investment denies the government the very tools it needs to use education and infrastructure to help rebuild the middle class.