May 26, 2017

Deficit-Reduction Plan Wins Bipartisan Support on Fiscal Commission

  • One of the drivers of the country's current fiscal policy debate has been the work of the President's bi-partisan National Commission on Fiscal...

A bipartisan majority on the President's fiscal commission has surprised skeptics and pleased deficit hawks by supporting a credible, comprehensive plan to reduce federal deficits and repair the big entitlement programs.

The plan would cut the deficit to 2.3 percent of GDP by 2015. Over the next decade, the commission said, its recommendations would produce nearly $4 trillion in deficit reduction.

The plan includes sharp cuts in domestic and defense spending, sweeping improvements in the tax system, health care cost containment, budget process reforms and measures to ensure the long-term solvency of Social Security.

Robert L. Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition, said the plan "cuts through the partisan rhetoric, makes some of the difficult choices that elected officials have long postponed, and offers fairness by spreading the necessary sacrifices.”

The final report failed to obtain the 14 votes required for official recommendations to Congress. But the 11-member bipartisan majority was larger than many analysts expected and could provide momentum for serious deficit-reduction measures in the months ahead.