October 24, 2014

Simpson-Bowles Framework Deserves Public Support

  • The federal budget is an expression of our country's values. Where we choose to spend and at what levels, how and who we tax, and the borrowing we...

Americans around the country can support long-term fiscal reform by encouraging their elected representatives to consider the updated framework that Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson released last month.

Bowles and Simpson co-chaired the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which produced a bipartisan plan in late 2010. They say their new framework is not meant as a revision of that plan but "builds upon where elected leaders were in their negotiations last year."

In a new op-ed, Concord Coalition Robert L. Bixby says the Simpson-Bowles framework could serve as a starting point for negotiations over comprehensive, long-term changes to put the federal budget on a more responsible course.

The framework calls for an additional $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction to be phased in over the next decade, with roughly a fourth coming from health care reforms and another fourth from tax simplification and reform. Simpson and Bowles also recommend making Social Security “sustainably solvent” through structural reforms.

“Fortunately, at least some in Washington are willing to put the country’s future before political calculations and partisan considerations,” Bixby writes in the op-ed, which has appeared in several papers around the country. “Ordinary citizens should get behind these courageous leaders, voice support for the Simpson-Bowles framework, and encourage all of their elected officials to put it to good use immediately.”