Nancy Pelosi, of all people, got it right Thursday morning. In an interview broadcast on National Public Radio, the liberal House Minority Leader agreed that spending cuts and entitlement reforms are necessary.
“The size of our deficit is an immorality, we should not be heaping those responsibilities onto the future,” Pelosi said, sounding oddly Republican. “Finding reductions, subjecting every federal dollar spent to harsh scrutiny as to whether the taxpayer is getting full value for the dollar, is very important. And that holds true in defense as well as on the domestic side.”
Pelosi, of course, could simply be spouting rhetoric. In the same interview, she called for Republicans to “take back your party” from “anti-government ideologues,” praised Tuesday’s last-minute budget deal for creating “more fairness in our tax code,” and said the goal of entitlement reform must be to “strengthen” Medicare and Social Security, not slash them.
But give Pelosi credit for at least admitting that spending cuts are necessary. Since President Barack Obama’s re-election, some on the left have argued that entitlement programs do not need major reform. That alone won’t suffice; like or loathe this week’s tax compromise, it does not create nearly enough revenue to fund our current spending.
The Congressional Budget Office found that the U.S. will amass roughly $4 trillion in deficit over the next decade if current spending levels remain in place. Even with a drawdown of American troops in Afghanistan, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates that the U.S. debt will remain at 79 percent of GDP through 2022.