The president's budget also includes measures that are great first steps in tackling the debt, such as a three-year non-security discretionary spending freeze, a bipartisan fiscal commission created by executive order and a specific fiscal goal of balancing the budget, excluding interest payments on the debt by 2015.
What the president got wrong: It is admirable of the administration to set a fiscal goal, but its policies are not sufficient to come close to reaching it. Also, we worry more will be needed to reassure financial markets.
While a spending freeze affecting a small part of the budget is definitely a good idea, the [estimated] $250 billion in savings over 10 years is small compared to the $8.5 trillion in deficits over that period.
In a politically charged environment, a commission is a great idea. However, the administration must have a "Plan B" in case the commission does not succeed. The administration cannot pin all of its hopes on a commission.
[Lastly] promises of new tax cuts, extensions of current tax cuts and new spending programs before adopting a debt reduction plan simply are not productive. The administration must take the lead on preparing the country for the types of tough choices that will be needed.
NEXT: Commission good start, but needs better target