Can’t nickel-and-dime the deficit

Contrary to popular belief, there are at least two people from the two major parties in Washington who do get along and do agree on what government should do. Unfortunately, no one listens to them.

They are former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, a Democrat, and former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson, a Republican. The two headed up the Obama Administration’s deficit reduction commission which developed the Simpson-Bowles plan, in 2010, for cutting $4 trillion from the federal over the next decade. They called for income tax increases on teh wealthiest to raise revenue, along with cutting double the amount in federal expenditures. No one has done a thing they have suggested.

Now, two years later, as Congress and Obama dilly and dally over the sequestered budget cuts, Simpson and Bowles this week called for even more budget cuts, enough for a $5 trillion budget deficit reduction. Doing nothing except little nickel-and-dime budget cuts to stave off the big decisions has simply allowed the problem that much bigger.

Obama and Congress appear willing to tackle the issue of Social Security and Medicare reforms, but Republicans are still balking on the issue of tax increases.

Sooner or later, the can we keep kicking down the road is going to turn into a 55-gallon drum. We’d be better off addressing the problem now.

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