Bowles, Simpson: Cuts Must Exceed $1.2 Trillion

November 2nd, 2011
in Background

alan-simpson Erskine-Bowles Econintersect:  The two co-chairmen of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (NCFRR) testified Tuesday (November 1) before the congressional “supercommittee”.  Both Alan Simpson (left) and Erskine Bowles (right) said that the amount of deficit reduction the committee was charged with identifying ($1.2 trillion) was insufficient to make any lasting impact on the country’s fiscal problems.  The “supercommittee” is supposed to come up with the $1.2 trillion plan by November 23.

Follow up:

According to AdvisorOne:

Former Republican Sen. Simpson and former Clinton administration Chief of Staff Bowles told members of the deficit reduction committee that while $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction “would be a small step forward, it’s important that the American people understand and the Congress realizes that $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction will not solve our long-term fiscal problems and that significantly more deficit reduction will need to be done to stabilize the debt and put it on a downward path as a percent of GDP.”

By now, they said, “everyone must understand that $4 trillion of deficit reduction is not the maximum we need to reduce the deficit over the next 10 years; it is not the ideal amount, it is the minimum amount we need to reduce the deficit to put our fiscal house in order and to stabilize our debt and get it on a downward path as a percent of GDP.”

Bloomberg reports that Bowles told the supercommittee that,  “I’m worried you’re going to fail.” the bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction the bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction the bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction

Further from Bloomberg:

Also testifying before the panel in Washington, former Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico, a Republican, criticized Democrats who oppose changes to Medicare and Republicans who refuse to accept tax increases.

“They are both complicit in letting America destroy itself, in letting this great democracy destroy itself because we don’t want to make tough decisions,” Domenici told the supercommittee. “I hope you heard that.”

During today’s hearing, Democrats and Republicans showed no signs of bending their positions on entitlements and taxes. Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the No. 2 Senate Republican, pushed back against some tax proposals offered by experts appearing before the panel, including taxing capital gains and dividends at the same rate as ordinary income. Gross domestic product “will be lost and wages will be lower,” he said.

Meantime, Democrats sought to defend the traditional Medicare system. Representative Xavier Becerra, a California Democrat on the supercommittee, said Republican plans to change Medicare to a private system would result in increased costs.

Source:   AdvisorOne and Bloomberg

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