Proposals from President Obama’s fiscal commission and other bipartisan panels that issued reports last year are drawing renewed attention as the new Congress gets to work.
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), for example, has introduced a bill that would cut federal spending by $153 billion, in part by shrinking the federal workforce by 10 percent, freezing federal pay, cutting certain programs and reducing some military spending.
It is commendable that policymakers such as Rep. Brady are willing to put specific spending cuts on the table for discussion. However, it is also important to remember that members of the president’s commission and other groups — such as the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force — emphasized that they had accepted some specific proposals only as part of a comprehensive, compromise plan.
If only some elements in such a plan are pursued while other parts are ignored, the bipartisan agreement could rapidly disappear.