Fareed Zakaria's latest Washington Post column: "It is obvious that, with a deficit at 8 percent of gross domestic product, any solution to our budgetary problems has to involve both spending cuts and tax increases."
It may be obvious to Mr. Zakaria, but it's not obvious to me. With federal tax receipts for 2011 at a nominal $2.3 trillion, the budget could be balanced by just bringing federal spending back to the 2004 level of about $2.3 trillion, which shouldn't be that difficult — 2004 was not that long ago. Yielding to Mr. Zakaria's logic would mean any politician who wants to ram through a tax increase should just go on a huge spending binge, run up a huge deficit, and then, afterward, argue that it is "obvious" that tax cuts are needed to pay for it.
It's an opinion column, and Mr. Zakaria is certainly entitled to his opinion about what is obvious. But if he wants to convince anyone, simply stating that his policy position is obviously the correct one seems like a strange way of doing it.