Perilously close to a government shutdown, President Barack Obama and congressional leaders reached a historic agreement late Friday night to cut about $38 billion in spending and avert the first federal closure in 15 years.
The heavy lifting can wait for another day. Let's face it, when you've been binging on junk food (deficit spending) for three decades and you're 400 pounds overweight (unfunded middle class entitlements), the first time you refuse to overeat can take the wind right out of you. That $38B is about 2.3% of the $1.65T deficit for FY2011, so at this rate of cutting we'll have the deficit zeroed out in 43 years or so. The wave of Baby Boomer retirees will crest long before then, so this overweight patient's heart attack (from a bond market meltdown) is still a foreseeable near-term event.