Support for Bowles-Simpson Growing: Editorials and Op-eds
"The smart path would deal with the debt in a way that is gradual, balanced between spending cuts and revenue increases and intelligently targeted rather than the current law’s bludgeon. This is the path outlined by debt reduction commissions such as Simpson-Bowles. Unfortunately, it is not the subject of the current debate."
New York Times
"People know leadership when they see it — when they see someone taking a political risk, not just talking about doing so, not just saying, 'I’ll jump if the other guy jumps'...[w]hat would it look like if the president was offering such leadership? First, he’d be proposing a deficit-cutting plan that matches the scale of our problem — one with substantial tax reform and revenue increases, a gasoline tax, deep defense cuts and cutbacks to both Social Security and Medicare. That is the Simpson-Bowles plan, and it should be Obama’s new starting point for negotiations."
"Structural reform is crucial. We need sensible solutions to the problems of growth and deficits. But these exist. Simpson-Bowles and other commissions have already shown the way to lower deficits...The United States has problems. But unlike many other countries, it also has solutions. And since politicians won't, citizens are increasingly finding ways to propose these solutions. That's something to be thankful for - and hopeful about."
Editorial: Think Big--Before It's Too Late - 12/3/2011
"The Simpson-Bowles report sent a message that official Washington didn't want to hear: Painful, dramatic decisions on taxes and spending had to be made right away. Financial ruin was edging closer. Do nothing, and America would go over the falls. In effect, Bowles and Simpson said, 'Attention, small thinkers. Think big, or we're sunk.' A year later, we're sunk. And Congress looks like it may be incapable of ever refloating the boat."
Des Moines Register
"The consensus following the failure of the so-called super committee last week was that it amounted to a huge missed opportunity...The real missed opportunity came a year ago when the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform delivered a report to President Obama proposing $4 trillion in deficit reductions by 2021...
Whether Democrat or Republican, voters should tell candidates they accept the fact that bringing down deficits will be a long-term proposition. It will require new tax revenues through tax reforms that eliminate loopholes and spread the tax burden equitably. It will require sacrifices across all federal departments, including Defense. It will require cutting future benefits and increasing contributions to preserve Social Security and Medicare.
These ideas are all contained in the Simpson-Bowles report. Congress should follow its recommendations. The message candidates should hear in the coming months: Don’t miss another opportunity to show the world that this nation is capable of making hard fiscal decisions today to assure prosperity for future generations."
Wisconsin State Journal
Editorial: Go Back to Bowles-Simpson - 12/1/2011
"With Congress' supercommittee failing to find agreement on a plan to ease America's soaring debt, it's time to go back to the future. Congress should dust off and vote on the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson plan from late last year. It wasn't perfect. But it remains the best, most credible plan out there to improve our nation's bottom line."
Michael Smerconish: Congress Needs a Debt Vote - 12/9/2011
"Start voting. That's my wish for the Congress when it comes to solutions regarding our nearly $15 trillion debt. Three major bipartisan efforts in Washington offered long-term solutions to our astronomical indebtedness, but none resulted in up-or-down votes in Congress that would have provided a measure of accountability for the folks at home. Simpson-Bowles was the first. After about a year of painstaking work, that bipartisan commission, made up of 18 members, could not get the requisite 14 votes to force congressional action on its plan...They left no stone unturned. No special interest was left unscarred. Yet there was no vote, so voters lack a measuring stick to judge their members of Congress on the Simpson-Bowles proposal."
"Last December, a deficit-reduction commission appointed by President Obama recommended a combination of revenue increases by closing loopholes and tax exemptions, spending cuts and health care reforms that ostensibly would have cut deficits by $4 trillion over the coming decade...significant enough to begin to set the U.S. on a sustainable, fiscally responsible path. The plan got 11 votes in favor, seven against — three votes short of what was needed to send a formal deficit-reduction blueprint to Congress. But it had bipartisan support from pragmatists such as Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill...and realists such as Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla...
At that moment, what became known as Bowles-Simpson could have been an imperfect but powerful vehicle for Obama to re-embrace his call for bipartisanship. It would have required him to view the 2010 elections the way President Clinton viewed Democrats' loss of Congress in 1994: as a course-correcting wake-up, a fresh opportunity to do something big and bold."
"In hindsight, the Simpson-Bowles work product included many hard but necessary steps to right the national ship. These include: cuts in the number of federal workers; increasing the costs of participating in veterans and military health care systems; increasing the age of Social Security eligibility; and major cuts in defense and foreign policy spending. They also recommend a range of tax system reforms, including funding tax rate reductions by eliminating many politically sacrosanct credits and deductions.
Failure is not an option. A fresh look at Simpson-Bowles should be."
Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Editorial: Doing the Job that Congress Couldn't - 12/2/2011
"If Congress is really interested in doing the right thing, there's one simple way to prove it: Pass the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction plan. It's already vetted, scored, published and ready to go."
Yamhill Valley News Register
"There are no easy answers to the mess we’re in, but we have a suggestion about where to start. It isn’t new — we first recommended it nearly a year ago when The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform released its report, better known as the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan.
The plan deserves a critical second look. It is aptly subtitled 'The Moment of Truth'...[t]he plan failed to achieve the required super majority vote of 14— only 11 of the 18 commission members voted for formal endorsement. Still, it contains tough fiscal recommendations that could begin our recovery."
Powell (WY) Tribune
"The most frustrating thing about Congress’ inability to take appropriate action is that a reasonable plan was offered over a year ago by the bipartisan commission appointed by President Obama and chaired by former Sen. Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, former President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff. A couple of weeks ago, both men testified before the “super committee” charged with finding a compromise, and they even offered a new outline designed to effect a compromise...If Congress really wants to solve the nation’s deficit problems...it will seriously reconsider the compromises suggested by Simpson and Bowles."
Bloomington (IL) Pantagraph
"Congress must act and it need not reinvent the wheel or create another committee. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., is calling for an immediate vote on recommendations in the Bowles-Simpson proposal of nearly a year ago. A vote on at least some of its proposals for closing tax loopholes, reducing farm subsidies and addressing Medicare costs is certainly called for. Enacting even a few of those recommendations would be a start and offer hope."