Don't be fooled by politicians. They will tell you opinions like they are facts, and they will make you feel like they know something you don't. As the country gets ready for the Republicans, and perhaps more importantly, for the Tea Party to come to power, it is important to remember these lessons.
September 2008 seems far away right now. The effects of the recession still linger, but the immediate panic and danger of that fall is now in the realm of history. Our crisis-du-jour is the budget deficit and our debt. Actually, it would be better to call it "self-made-crisis-du-jour." My point is, no one REALLY knows the dangers of a large deficit. They could be awful, but on the other hand, and this is a BIG other hand, the fallout from all the spending cuts and tax increases necessary to combat the deficit could be dire. For example, in the event of another recession, without Social Security payments, the elderly of this country would lose almost 100% of their savings. Despite the fact that Social Security is bloated, and in a few years, we're going to be paying in more than we get out, the complete, immediate removal of Social Security could be hugely detrimental to the economy.
Politicians who tell you that we MUST battle the budget deficit need to be reminded of our 9.6% unemployment rate. There are fundamental measures of the strength of our economy: employment, GDP, inflation, etc... Before you get caught up in the deficit, "unfairness" of the tax rate, or any other hot topic, look around, and check the REAL measures of our economy.