The latest edition of CQ Weekly has a piece on the "low-hanging fruit" of the budget debate -- provisions that have been proposed or negotiated by members of both parties. A table from the article is a very welcomed addition to our own overlapping policy grid, which also shows a surprising level of commonality between some budget plans and discussions.
In yesterday's Washington Post, Jonathan Rauch writes that President Obama should propose a bill, that would among other things, tackle long-term debt reduction. That plan, as the title of this post would indicate, is Simpson-Bowles. He explains:
In an appearance on Bloomberg TV, Honeywell CEO and Fiscal Commission member David Cote made the case for a fiscal plan, saying that it would be beneficial for the economy to remove uncertainty and put in place pro-growth policies. Specifically, he praised the Simpson-Bowles tax plan for simplifying the tax code while raising revenue. In addition, he said that reductions in the major health spending programs--Medicare and Medicaid--would be essential to getting our fiscal house in order.
This week the OECD released its biennial Economic Surveys on the United States, with the organization's economic recommendations for policymakers. The report identified needed short-term reforms in response to the sputtering U.S. economy but also examined the unique challenges of the U.S. in the future. Not surprising, fiscal issues were prominently featured in the OECD report.
The Hill has an informative article today on how former chair of the Senate Budget committee, former Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) is increasingly involved in helping sway Republicans to go for a comprehensive, bipartisan deficit reduction plan. Gregg, a member of the Simpson-Bowles Fiscal Commission, and someone who voted in favor of the plan, told The Hill that he hopes to "offer any assistance to reinvigorate" the Simpson-Bowles plan.
On Sunday, Fiscal Commission co-chair and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles delivered a speech at American University's School of Public Affairs Commencement. Apparently, the message hit home for Ben Ritz, Chair of Fiscal Policy and Policy Caucus Director of AU's College Democrats.
Former Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) weighs in on the impact of "taxmaggedon" in The Hill today. While the tax increases would likely lead to more revenue, he said, the sudden rise of the payroll tax, expiration of the 2001/2003 tax cuts, and other tax increases could have a devastating impact on a still weak economy. Gregg explains: