Perhaps we missed it, but one thing that apparently wasn't mentioned in Wednesday's presidential debate was exactly how much each candidate is going to cut the deficit and when.
On Friday, the Congressional Budget Office announced that the deficit for fiscal year 2012, just ended, was $1.1 trillion. Now that's better than the $1.3 trillion deficits we've had for the past two years - but not by much.
It marked the fourth year in a row of over $1 trillion deficits. In fiscal year 2012, the federal government borrowed 31 1/2 of every dollar it spent, The Associated Press reported Friday.
If something dramatic doesn't change, by the time the next presidential election rolls around in 2016, the national debt will be more than $20 trillion.
Our candidates for president are not giving us timetables for when their plans will fix this unsustainable imbalance. Mitt Romney speaks in vague terms of balancing the budget in 8 to 10 years. The president says he has a plan to save more than $4 trillion over the next decade - but does not say how this would relate to a balanced budget.
So, instead we keep marching toward what has been termed a "financial cliff" - spending cuts and the end of current tax rates that will occur automatically in January. The political season is playing out with our leaders completely ignoring that ticking bomb.
As we've said repeatedly, look for frantic negotiations to start right after the election to reach a last-minute deal to head off the looming January nightmare. Like the deal that lifted the debt ceiling and set up January's scenario, the next agreement will be a hasty, ill-thought out plan that will set up another crisis.
The country is in desperate need of responsible leadership.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.