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A Capital Hill Compromise?

Friday December 3rd, 2010   •   Posted by Emily Skarbek at 5:05am PST   •  

The Washington Post reports that the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform has come up with a plan to address the nation’s fiscal house of cards. The major points of the plan include:

  • Deficit reductions by nearly $4 trillion over the next decade
  • Large reductions in discretionary spending
  • Tax code reform

He hits the nail on the head with tax reform:

“Instead, the discussion should be about how to simplify an overly complex and outdated tax code to make it fairer, more efficient and more productive, so that lower marginal rates for individuals and corporations allow dollars to flow toward spurring the economic growth we so urgently need.”

While I agree that the discussion of governance and reform is in the right ball park and that political compromise is necessary to implement action required to ward off disaster, the fact that the plan does not address the major drivers of the fiscal imbalances—Social Security and healthcare—is worrisome.

Contrary to Gregg’s call to end discussion and start action, I believe fiscal health requires that Americans keep these issues in the forefront of political discourse. This awareness of the blatant fiscal economic reality that the public sector can not persist in this manner and the necessity of scaling back the federal government dramatically in order to preserve long-run economic growth and prosperity for America is necessary to re-instill the norms of the old-time fiscal religion that holds tight to balanced budgets.

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December 2010