The new budget plan released recently by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles once again demonstrates that it is possible to bring the deficit under control using a mix of spending cuts and revenue increases without harming the near-term economy.
It is not a plan for partisan purists, and that is why it could play a vital role in the coming months as Democrats and Republicans struggle to find a way forward on a budget compromise.
Unlike the original Simpson-Bowles plan, which was presented when the two men co-chaired the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, this plan picks up where negotiations broke off last December between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner.
“The plan we have put forward here is not our ideal plan, it is not the perfect plan, and it is certainly not the only plan,” they wrote. “It is an effort to show both sides that a deal is possible; a deal where neither side compromises their principles but instead relies on principled compromise. Such a deal would invigorate our economy and demonstrate to the public that Washington can solve problems, and leave a better future for our grandchildren.”
Simpson and Bowles acknowledge that some...