Balancing the budget will require leadership from Bennet and Udall, among others

In a column published today at CNN/Money, Maya MacGuineas, director of the fiscal policy program at the New America Foundation, takes a sharp look at Washington’s budget problems and concludes that Colorado Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall seem to be two of very few actual adults involved in the budget mess.

MacGuineas was in Denver Friday to participate in a budget forum sponsored by Udall and Bennet–but which they couldn’t actually attend because of negotiations then going on in the Capital.

She writes that everything needs to be put on the table, from taxes to defense spending to medicare and social security–and that the American people know this even if their elected politicians don’t.

From her column:

Congress has to pass a budget fix this year. If we wait until next year, the risk is too great that either markets run out of patience, or the election season turns into a terrible battle where promises over more tax cuts, and what programs never to cut, cement all the candidates into impossible positions.

President Obama is expected to make a big speech on the topic later this week. He should explain that this must be one of the top national priorities and create a forum where he and Congress come up with a plan. Frankly, they should not move on to other issues until it has passed.

Judging from Friday’s forum, the people of Colorado are ready. Are the nation’s politicians?

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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