HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy

Abstract

Washington is awash in plans for ways to bring the national debt under control. But even the most thoughtful and comprehensive proposals, including those in the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles national fiscal commission report, have tackled the problem as something to be solved with the right combination of tax increases and spending cuts. America's budget troubles are more than a math problem. Before we can come up with a real solution, we need to examine our core values and priorities as a nation. Rather than simply asking where can we trim and how can we raise revenue, we need to ask what is important enough that we want to keep spending money on it and what is OK to abandon.

Citation

Bilmes, Linda J. "U.S. Budget Woes More Than Just a Math Problem." Los Angeles Times, December 13, 2010.