Derek Thompson asks:

Tough question. We could have a technology revolution like the 1990s, but that's not likely. Health care reform could save billions of dollars, but that's nothing to bank on in the short term. Ultimately, I think Andrew's right that we could start thinking painfully, for the rich (cut corporate welfare reform) the old (cut entitlements) or the connected (cut defense). But the rich, old and connected are the people who run government or whom the government expects to vote. And Obama might be a revolutionary, but he's not a masochist. So more likely we'll continue to kick the can down the road. The deficit will continue to be the next next issue. And we'll see not the return, but the continuation of America's grand debt-payment tradition: Delay-as-you-go.

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