It’s no longer a question of solutions. Viable bipartisan solutions have been put on the table; two notable plans include Simpson-Bowles and Domenici-Rivlin. It is now a question of political will and courage. We need to pressure Congress to step up and act!
Guiding Principles for a Solution
• Policymakers should acknowledge that our growing debt is a serious threat to the economic well-being and security of the United States.
• It is urgent and essential that we put in place a plan to fix America’s debt. An effective plan must stabilize the debt as a share of the economy, and put it on a downward path.
• This plan should be enacted now, but implemented gradually to protect the fragile economic recovery and to give Americans time to prepare for the changes in the federal budget.
• In order to develop a fiscal plan that can succeed both financially and politically, it must be bipartisan and generationally balanced. Reforms to all areas of the budget should be included. The plan should:
- Reform Medicare and Medicaid, improve efficiency in the overall health care system, and limit future cost growth;
- Strengthen Social Security, so that it is solvent and will be there for future beneficiaries; and
- Include comprehensive and pro-growth tax reform, which broadens the base, lowers rates, raises revenues, and reduces the deficit.
• The recommendations of the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles Commission, which saved $4 trillion and addressed all parts of the budget, provide an effective framework for such a plan.
• The plan should be conducive to long-term economic growth, protect the vulnerable, include credible enforcement mechanisms to ensure that the debt reduction is achieved, and leave the next generation better off.