After three tax cuts, the bursting of the stock market bubble, the economic aftershocks of 9/11 and the Iraq war, the surplus is gone and the deficit is expected to grow to 5 trillion dollars over the next decade.
Domestic deficits are just one piece of the problem. The US is weighted down by a 500-billion dollar foreign trade deficit. If foreign confidence evaporates, it could lead to a dreaded severe economic fall.
Click one of the "listen" links to hear a conversation with former Secretary of Commerce Peter Peterson on tax cuts, deficits, dependence on foreign capital, and what the U.S. can do to avoid economic doom.
Peter G. Peterson, former Secretary of Commerce, Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations and founding President of the Concord Coalition, a bi-partisan group dedicated to educating citizens and politicans about the urgent need for fiscal responsibility
Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.
This program aired on September 15, 2004.