October 30, 2014

President's Fiscal Commission Urged to Focus on the Long Term and Reject Traditional Notions About "Political Realities"

  • The national debt has grown significantly in recent years due to rising annual deficits. A deficit occurs in any year the government spends more...

In a marathon session, the president’s fiscal commission heard suggestions late last month from dozens of organizations and individuals on how to fix Social Security, improve the tax system and tackle other difficult challenges facing the country.

The bipartisan commission is tasked with making recommendations to Congress and the administration by Dec. 1 on how to cut the deficit to 3 percent of GDP in the next five years as well as significantly improve the country’s longer-term fiscal picture.

Bob Bixby, Concord’s executive director, urged the commission to focus on the longer-term issues: "While I agree with the 2015 goal as a substantive matter, I worry that it could become a distraction by, in effect, engaging the commission in work traditionally handled by the congressional budget committees."

Bixby’s two other key suggestions to the panel were to reject traditional notions of “political realities” that would narrow the options, and to do as much as possible “to educate the public about the magnitude of the problem and engage them in the search for solutions.”

Additional suggestions can be sent to the commission at commission@fc.eop.gov.