Congress also should be careful not to simply shift burdens to the states. Additional cuts should take into account the $1.5 trillion in reductions to nondefense discretionary spending that have already been made.
The fiscal cliff represents a monumental challenge for our nation, and spending cuts must be part of the solution. But we must avoid cuts that will save a little now only to cost us far more in social, public safety, corrections and education costs later. We must be even more careful not to solve our fiscal problems on the backs of defenseless children. We will need them healthy and well-educated to lead our country for many years to come and confront the long-lingering challenges of getting the federal budget under control.
Boyd is owner and CEO of Policy & Performance Consultants, Inc., and former member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Houseman is chairman of the Children's Leadership Council, a coalition of more than 50 children's organizations, based in Washington.