State of the Union Preview -- A Holiday Gift?

With the holiday season in full force, the White House made some news in announcing on Twitter that the President will focus on the federal budget and national debt in his State of the Union speech in January.

The news is welcome in light of the recent report of the Fiscal Commission that lays out the dire fiscal situation and the tax cut deal which will add significantly to the deficit. The State of the Union provides an excellent venue for President Obama to advance the needed adult conversation and offer solid ideas to avoid a fiscal catastrophe. The President will have to lead on this issue and the State of the Union, along with the release of his budget proposal in February, will offer the opportunity to set the tone in confronting our fiscal challenges.

As underscored by our handy comparison chart, there are plenty of ideas out there for stabilizing our debt. Additionally, there is growing support in Congress for substantive action, as underscored by the lawmakers who voted to approve the Fiscal Commission report and the bipartisan group lead by Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Mark Warner (D-VA) that has pledged to make our deficit a priority.

While the tax deal was a lump of coal for our fiscal outlook, the prospect of President Obama leading on this issue and being supported by a bipartisan core in Congress is a nice gift that gives us hope for 2011.

P.S. If you are looking for some family fun over the holidays and you've had enough Yahtzee, try our "Stabilize the Debt" online budget simulator at http://crfb.org/stabilizethedebt/.