Monday, February 13, 2012

Simpson-Bowles on Obama budget

So what do Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson think of President Obama's budget? They liked the goals and principles the president has espoused, and called the budget a step in the right direction on deficit reduction. But said it achieved less deficit reduction than their Bowles-Simpson commission proposed.

They also warned that "allowing the automatic across-the-board spending cuts (sequester) and an immediate increase in taxes provided for under current law (brokered when a debt-ceiling stalemate last summer threatened to pitch the country back into deeper financial woes) would be terrible policy and prove harmful to the economy."

Sensible words from sensible people. Will the Washington stridently partisan politicos listen? It's a distant hope but an unlikely reality - especially when the red meat that's the White House in 2013 is dangling.

But hope does spring eternal.

Here's the entire statement from Bowles and Simpson:

"In the framework he announced in April and what he submitted to the Select Committee in September, the President embraced many of the goals and principles outlined by the Fiscal Commission and incorporated some of the policies we proposed. We are pleased that the President's latest budget continues to focus on deficit reduction and are also encouraged to see real, specific policies for limiting tax expenditures, slowing health care cost growth, and reducing spending throughout the government.

"While the President's proposal is a step in the right direction, it would achieve less deficit reduction than the Fiscal Commission proposed when compared on an equal basis and would only briefly stabilize the debt at a level that is already too high.

"We do agree with the President that Congress should replace the across-the-board cuts required by the Budget Control Act (BCA) with a balanced, sensible plan to at least meet and hopefully exceed the deficit reduction goals of the BCA. Allowing the automatic across-the-board spending cuts (sequester) and an immediate increase in taxes provided for under current law would be terrible policy and prove harmful to the economy. But a decision to postpone tough choices once again by blocking the sequester and continuing our current tax policy without making the tough, smart choices to reduce the deficit will still send a powerfully negative message that the U.S. is yet unwilling to honestly confront our growing fiscal challenges.

"With his budget submission today, the President has set out his approach to replacing the BCA sequester with a greater amount of deficit reduction in a way that makes choices and sets priorities without disrupting a fragile economic recovery. We expect Congressional Republicans to now put forward their own proposal for deficit reduction that exceeds the BCA goals while still reflecting their own priorities in the coming weeks.

"Leaders in both parties must now move forward from these opening positions in order to reach a principled compromise that achieves enough deficit reduction to put the debt on a downward path relative to the economy, while getting health and retirement spending on a sustainable path and overhauling the tax code in a way that both reduces the deficit and improves the nation's economic growth and competitiveness.

Our leaders in Washington must work together to reach a bipartisan agreement on our long-term budgets now, not after the election. We remain hopeful that this leadership could soon come from the growing number of members of Congress from both parties who are expressing support for a truly serious deficit reduction plan. Our nation's leaders desperately need to put politics aside, pull together, not pull apart, and make the difficult choices needed to bring these destructive deficits under control."

- Fannie Flono


Jim said...

"...the President's proposal...would only briefly stabilize the debt at a level that is already too high."

This is problem solving?

Skippy said...

Even after being used as political sock puttet by Obama, Erskin doesn't have the courage to call this what it is, bankruptcy for this country and another downgrade.

kantstanzya said...

If this is such a great budget than I assume President Obama and Harry Reid will have no problem submitting it to the Senate for a vote?

My bet is they won't because they know it is just more of the same out of control spending and Democrats won't even vote for it. Obama's budget last year was voted down 97-0.

This is not a serious budget as much as it is a another campaign document Obama can tell his clueless supporters won't pass because of the meany GOP obstructionists. Just more of the governing...politics 24/7.

Anonymous said...

I just love how Democrats assume that if we just "tax the rich" and "make the rich pay their fair share" then we will magically vault into an economic boom.

Not gonna happen.

Notice how some of the money for all this new spending is supposed to come from "ending Bush tax cuts for the wealthy." Several problems with that. For one, raising those tax rates will cause the people that are being stuck with them will change their behavior. They will find other ways to make their money grow. Even liberal JFK realized that increasing tax rates decreases tax revenue, as people who get hit with tax increases change what they do with their money to avoid the higher rates. One more time, Dems - INCREASING tax rates DECREASES tax revenue. LOWERING tax rates INCREASES tax revenue. But what am I arguing for? It's so much easier to scream to the masses that rich people are only rich through inheritence, lying, cheating, stealing and exploitation of others, and that "if you vote for me, I'll take that money they stole from others and give it to you, since only you work hard for a living" and continue to increase hatred amongst American citizens.