August 26, 2016

bbixby's blog

AARP Ignores Need for Fiscal Reform

Last week, AARP doubled-down on its insistence that Social Security and Medicare benefits should be off the table in negotiations to stabilize the nation’s debt.

Seeking Solutions -- Two By Two

Last January, members of Congress paired up with colleagues of the opposite party for the State of the Union Address. It was a welcome, if symbolic, display of political civility.

In the ensuing months, Congress and the Obama administration have struggled to put this civility into practice as they have grappled with sincere disagreements over the best approach to meeting the nation’s fiscal and economic challenges.

Strengths and Weaknesses in Obama's Deficit Reduction Plan

President Obama deserves credit for putting Medicare and Medicaid on the table for deficit-reduction efforts and for encouraging the new super committee to exceed its assigned goal.

Obama's Proposals Could Boost Economy, But Effectiveness Depends on Long-Term Fiscal Reform

It is not inconsistent to provide effective short-term support for the economic recovery while laying the groundwork for long-term deficit reduction. To do so, however, Washington will have to move beyond the inflexibility and partisan vitriol of the recent debt limit debate.

The American People Want In

 

This post originally appeared on The American Square

New Congressional Committee Must Put National Interest First

Members of the new Congressional Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction will have a threshold decision to make: Do they want to take their mandate seriously?

If the answer is yes, they will likely have to make decisions in the public interest that will not sit well with the party leaders who appointed them. If the answer is no, they will heighten public frustration with the political process and risk deep automatic cuts in programs many of them care about.

Which should it be?

Debt-Limit Deal Avoids Default But Does Not Solve Fundamental Fiscal Problems

In this debt-limit game of musical chairs, the music has stopped and it’s time to grab a seat. The only one available is the deal worked out by congressional leaders and the Obama administration over the weekend. It is not a solution to our nation’s fiscal problems and is far from the “grand bargain” needed to put us on a sustainable path. However, a debt-limit deal needs to get done. This one at least avoids a self-inflicted wound caused by the government’s defaulting on its obligations, and it gives proponents of a grand bargain another turn at bat.

A Better Way Out of the Stalemate

The partisan vortex in Washington is now so strong that it threatens to swallow all rational thought.

Go Long

 

This originally appeared on The American Square at http://theamericansquare.org/profiles/blogs/go-long

Can't Get There From Here

The punch line of an old joke aptly describes the status of budget negotiations in Washington: you can’t get there from here. It’s not the “there” that is the problem; it’s the “here.”

Broad bipartisan consensus exists on two points. The first is that the debt limit must soon be raised to avoid a default in one form or another. The second is that current fiscal policy cannot be sustained. Missing from the equation is any solid evidence that political leaders are prepared to do what is necessary to solve either problem.