2011 the Year of the Rabbit? Let's Hope It's the Year of a Fiscal Plan

Happy New Year, and what a year we've had!

In just the last 12 months, we've seen the passage of health care reform legislation that will begin to regain some budgetary control over health care spending, debate in Washington shift from whether or not our country even needs a fiscal plan to what policies should be in such a plan, and a great deficit reduction proposal from the Presidential Fiscal Commission -- a commission that garnered a bipartisan majority of 11 out of 18 possible votes of support for a realistic plan that would tackle our fiscal challenges head on.

Let's slow down for a second though. We still have no plan in place to control the projected tsunami of debt in coming decades. And we still have a budget process that's a complete mess (underscored by the lack of a budget or spending plan for the entire year!). Let's hope that 2011 is the year that changes everything and sets us back on a path to long-term prosperity.

To help show some of the key areas we've talked about over the past year, here is a word cloud (from Wordle) of The Bottom Line for the entire year of 2010. More commonly used words show up as larger elements in the picture. Go figure, "spending", "fiscal", "deficit", "cuts", "billions", and "tax" all stuck out as common mentions. Let's hope "Lawmakers enact a fiscal plan!" shows up in this coming year's Wordle. What? That's not a word? Well, maybe we can just hope for that being a headline then.

Lawmakers will have some difficult work ahead of them this year. But enacting a fiscal plan is absolutely critical for a healthy and productive future for our country. Let's get rolling...