Why a $4 trillion deficit reduction would be easier than $1.2 trillion

The idea is certainly counterintuitive, but it's a serious proposal from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. This is the group's explanation:

... a Go Big approach [$4 trillion] is not just what is needed to get control of the debt from a policy perspective, a comprehensive approach can also improve the chances of success from three main factors:

• Political Trade-Offs. Putting everything on the table, especially the drivers of future debt, would allow the political trade-offs necessary to tackle entitlement and tax reforms to be considered.

• Shared Sacrifice. A comprehensive approach would promote a sense of shared contributions, improving political support while reducing push-back from constituencies and interest groups who would otherwise feel singled out.

• Economic and Political Gains of Debt Reduction. Stabilizing the debt would boost confidence, strengthen the economy over the longer-term, provide greater certainty and an improved business environment, and

That last point is especially important. Such a comprehensive approach would go a long way to relieve the uncertainty that is currently holding an economic recovery back. I believe there would be an explosion of hiring and growth.

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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