Dave Leonhardt's column in yesterday's NYT pretty much sums it up for me on the deficit:
Eventually, the country will have to confront the deficit we have, rather than the deficit we imagine. The one we imagine is a deficit caused by waste, fraud, abuse, foreign aid, oil industry subsidies and vague out-of-control spending. The one we have is caused by the world’s highest health costs (by far), the world’s largest military (by far), a Social Security program built when most people died by 70 — and to pay for it all, the lowest tax rates in decades.
Too bad no-one seems to be able to face this kind of truth and instead of hiding behind doctrinaire positions.