The new administration needs to make some tough choices about how to pay off the nation's $1.3 trillion debt, including allowing some of President Bush's tax breaks to expire and deciding when the spending needs to be curtailed.
It's the first big test of President Obama's PR skills. The trick will be convincing people that slashing the federal deficit by two-thirds is worth the growing pains along the way.
If there's one thing that unites Americans of all political persuasions it tends to be an aversion to coughing up cash to the tax man.
On the flip side, our deficit is the biggest we've had since World War Two. Uncle Sam might have a beard, but he can't play Santa Claus for too much longer.