Senators Kirk and Manchin Offer "Go Big" Proposal
Today, Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) called for a "Sense of the Senate" resolution pushing for Congress to "Go Big" on deficit reduction using the framework of the Simpson-Bowles proposal. The resolution is a non-binding agreement that a "Go Big" approach needs to be taken towards deficit reduction. While this may seem more trivial than effectual, it indicates a necessary commitment to solving our long-run fiscal problems. Adding to a letter from 45 Senators calling for a Go Big deficit reduction package, the resolution aims to express and solidify the common sentiment in the Senate in favor of such a package.
The resolution makes note of a variety of crucial points central to a "Go Big" approach. Namely, the elevated level of our current public debt (over $10 trillion), the historic downgrade of U.S. credit rating by S&P, the availability of frameworks for large-scale reduction packages, and the existence of the powerful Super Committee. These factors -- together with the already existing support for "Go Big" by business leaders, budget experts, leading economists, and politicians -- form the basis for these two Senators' proposed resolution.
These resolutions recognize the need for a deficit-reduction package which will stabilize our long term debt and begin to put debt-growth on a downward path. The resolution calls for at least $4 trillion in savings, while promoting economic growth and job recovery in the short-run and basing long-run fiscal reforms on the principles of shared sacrifice and compromise. However, the resolution also rightly recognizes that this is only possible by addressing the long-run growth in costs of entitlement programs and by enacting pro-growth, deficit-reducing tax reform.
Here's to hoping that the Super Committee and other members of Congress heed these calls and indeed "Go Big".