Media Coverage of the Updated Simpson-Bowles Deficit Reduction Proposal
Erskine Bowles and Alan K. Simpson, the deficit-cutting duo who have been trying for three years to broker a budget deal, are back in Washington with a new message for the nation’s policymakers: You’ve done the easy stuff. You’ve done the stupid stuff. Now it’s time to get serious.
The bipartisan pair are seeking to outline the elusive middle ground between the parties’ positions on deficit reduction, and continue to refine an alternative federal budget that few lawmakers have endorsed. Bowles said in an interview that they are trying to demonstrate what’s possible and absorb criticism so they can catalyze a deal.
That $2.7 trillion (which the White House estimates to be $2.5 trillion) does not include the forced budget cuts -- also known as "sequestration" -- that went into effect last month. Bowles and Simpson call those cuts "mindless" and think they threaten the economic recovery. Consequently, they propose canceling 70% of the cuts for this year and next. Similarly, they recommend delaying most of their plan's deficit reduction until 2016.
The plan released Thursday night by former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., would lop more than $5 trillion from deficits over the upcoming decade when combined with the deficit-cutting steps enacted in fits and starts since his 2010 proposal. It's unclear what impact the updated plan will have on a capital that's bitterly split over taxes, spending and government debt. The initial Bowles-Simpson plan won warm reviews from deficit hawks but got a chilly reception from Obama and much of the rest of official Washington for its tough mix of tax increases and cuts to benefits programs like Medicare and Social Security.
Last week, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, co-chairs of the Moment of Truth Project, released a new budget plan, titled “A Bipartisan Path Forward to Securing America’s Future.” This updated plan is the latest attempt by these two men to restore some sanity to our nation’s fiscal situation. While it leaves much to be desired, the plan is a step in the right direction as Congress moves into yet another phase of the ongoing budget debate.
Congress has "one last good chance" to reach a grand bargain on the deficit this summer, the former chairmen of President Obama’s fiscal commission said Friday. Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson on Friday released a new version of their fiscal plan and said the fight over an increase in the debt ceiling gives lawmakers a narrow window to act.
The names Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles have become synonymous with deficit-cutting, as the two men have been calling for spending cuts and revenue increases for years. Now the men who headed up President Barack Obama's 2010 National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform are once again leading the fiscal policy discussion, with another deficit-cutting plan. But in a politically polarized Washington, it could easily fall on deaf ears as in years past, even from these two highly respected men.
Simpson-Bowles remains a potent brand to some in Washington, and the two argue their plan provides the building blocks for a “principled compromise."
Mr Bowles and Alan Simpson, a former Republican senator from Wyoming who also co-chaired the 2010 fiscal panel, are leading the charge from the outside to push Congress and the White House into a “grand bargain” compromise on deficit reduction. On Friday, they presented a revised plan that would bring the US debt to gross domestic product down from 73 per cent to 69 per cent in 2023. Mr Bowles and Mr Simpson said in their report that on the current fiscal path – without new congressional action – the US will hit 79 per cent of GDP in a decade, and more than 100 per cent of the economy in 2035. Mr Bowles said their goal was to see Mr Obama and Congress converge on a plan by early August when they will need to agree to raise the US debt limit or face the possibility of default. He noted there had been some positive signs about the chances for compromise following Mr Obama’s budget proposal and his decision to step up engagement with Republicans on fiscal matters.