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The Republicans would be able to blame Mr. Obama for worsening the debt (it’s risen $3 trillion under his presidency), America would keep its AAA credit rating and the government would pay its bills.

It, too, has its flaws. First, $1.5 trillion isn’t going to make much of a dent in excessive discretionary spending. Second, does anyone seriously expect Congress to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits in an election year? Don’t hold your breath.

Somewhere in these proposals there is a combination of ideas that could significantly curb spending, but they haven’t been put together yet. The deficit monster cannot be slain without deep, permanent spending cuts and strong economic growth that pounds unemployment down to less than 6 percent, which isn’t on the horizon under this president.

Sad to say, but the deficit monster likely will survive this year’s budget battle and persist until America votes to change the country’s direction in the 2012 election.

Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and former chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.