While political leaders remain tied up in discussions of government shutdowns and debt ceiling increases, we focus on the medium- and long-term budget outlook, where more serious challenges lie. With the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act, the imposition of the sequester, and changes in health care cost projections, some observers are claiming that fiscal issues have been resolved. The release of several new reports provides an opportunity to re-examine these issues. Our overarching conclusion is that, while the nation faces many other pressing economic and social issues, we are still far from attaining a sustainable fiscal policy.
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