The greatest problem causing deficits in the long term is the growth of entitlement programs. They are growing 7% per year. The long-term growth rate of the economy is only 3% per year. Accordingly, we can not expect to grow tax revenue fast enough to keep pace with the growth of entitlement programs. About 90% of the debt can be explained with the social and entitlement programs. … In the short-term, revenues have been constrained by the economy, and deficits are worse as a result. Government should be operating with surpluses during good economic times to build reserves for bad economic times.