September 22, 2014

Leaders of Bipartisan Panels Urge Action

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

The leaders of two prominent deficit-reduction panels worry that elected officials this year will lack  “the courage to forge a comprehensive, multi-year debt reduction plan.” In a guest column last week in Politico, the panel leaders warned against delay and urged political leaders to seek bipartisan consensus.

“Delaying action will make the choices we face increasingly difficult and sharpen the risk of a debt crisis in which bond markets force us to take painful steps,” the panel leaders wrote. “If we fail to act, our nation could face unaffordable interest payments in excess of $1 trillion per year . . .”

The op-ed was written by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, who chaired the President’s bipartisan fiscal commission, and Alice Rivlin and Pete Domenici, who led the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force.

The four said the experience of their panels showed that bipartisan agreement was possible on broad plans that included cuts in defense and domestic spending, entitlement reform and changes in tax policy.