September 20, 2014

Deficit Reduction Can Be ‘Win-Win’

  • The federal budget is an expression of our country's values. Where we choose to spend and at what levels, how and who we tax, and the borrowing we...

Elected officials often approach discussions about deficit reduction as a zero-sum game in which  compromise amounts to defeat. But as various experts and bipartisan groups have demonstrated, certain policy options could bring results that should please both parties.

“The best ideas for the most effective ways to reduce the federal budget happen to be win-win ideas, ‘bipartisan’ in that the goals and priorities of both Democrats and Republicans are promoted rather than sacrificed,” Diane Lim Rogers, chief economist for The Concord Coalition, writes in a recent guest column in The Christian Science Monitor.

Bringing down the deficit, for example, would save money on interest costs, strengthen the economy and lessen the debt burden on our children and future generations – things that both parties can cheer.

Another example is tax reform. Eliminating a multitude of tax breaks (known as "tax expenditures") could avoid the need for either large increases in marginal tax rates on higher-income households or large cuts in programs that benefit low-income households.