Deficit reduction plan: Durbin and Bixby weigh in
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and the Concord Coalition's Bob Bixby comment on the impact of the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction proposal.
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And Bob explains why the falling short of the “consensus” 14 votes shouldn’t be regarded as a “failure”–but instead that the support earned from a bipartisan majority of the commission’s members (11 of the 18) should be recognized as a pretty significant “success”:Skip to next paragraph
'EconomistMom' (Diane Lim Rogers) is Chief Economist of the Concord Coalition, a non-partisan, non-profit organization which advocates for fiscal responsibility, and the mom of four (amazing) kids to whom she dedicates her work. She’s been blogging since Mother’s Day 2008.
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Many skeptics thought President Barack Obama’s fiscal commission was a pointless exercise, doomed to failure on its assignment to develop a plan to rein in the massive federal deficits that are projected for the next decade and beyond.
But today a bipartisan majority of that panel proved the skeptics wrong, and the nation owes these commission members a debt of gratitude.
They have given their approval to a sweeping set of recommendations that would strengthen our economy, repair important programs for older Americans that are now threatened with insolvency, and protect our children and future generations from being saddled with trillions of dollars in additional debt.
To do this, they had to move beyond stale partisan rhetoric to confront the difficult choices and trade-offs that elected officials in both parties have long avoided. They had to turn a deaf ear to those at both ends of the political spectrum who urged them to ignore vast swaths of the federal budget. They had to look at all the options.
They had to accept the principle of shared sacrifice. And in the end they had to compromise, with each commission member accepting some elements of the plan that they didn’t like…
The commission majority, and particularly Co-Chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, deserve credit for their diligence and hard work in putting together a roadmap that offers the country at least one way out of the fiscal swamp. In addition, they provided a badly needed model for the sort of compromise and cooperation that will be needed to move the United States toward a more promising future.
More from me later on the “common ground” I see among all of the various fiscal plans that have been recently laid out for us. There is a lot of reason for optimism. Don’t let the grumpy, entrenched folks out there get you down.
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