Nation building--at home

But a national debt of more than $14 trillion makes us vulnerable because our economy is the wellspring of our military might, as well as the happiness and self-confidence of a fully employed people.

So what to do? There are several bipartisan approaches: the presidentially appointed Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson panel, which couldn’t agree, a task force led by Alice Rivlin and Pete Domenici, and another from the  think tank Demos, together with the Economic Policy Institute and the Century Foundation.

Naturally, as a veteran Century board member, I would prefer its plan, which is closer to the president’s thinking. It is a mixture of cuts, tax increases and spending in growth areas with most cuts coming after unemployment is down to 6 percent.