Kevin Drum has been beating this, uh, bongo for a while now. Here’s the shorter version, which makes a lot of sense to me:

1. The budget deficit is big because the economy went in the tank.

2. The budget deficit will get smaller as the economy improves.

3. Medium term budgetary problems can be solved by letting the Bush tax cuts expire (all rates go back where they were under Clinton – hardly onerous levels).

4. Long term problems can only be fixed by addressing health care/Medicare.

5. I’d add – Social Security does not need major overhaul the way Medicare does. Claims to the contrary by conservatives actually indicate their ideological preference, rather than truth about the state of Social Security.