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The Last Word on Simpson-Bowles: What Kevin Drum Said

Worst Things About Simpson-Bowles

On Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 6:04 AM, Sydelle Moore wrote:

The Big Question: What is the best and the worst recommendation from the president's debt commission?

Well, two things tie for the worst thing about the president's deficit-reduction commission.

The first is Barack Obama's decision to take a long-time budget arsonist like Alan Simpson--somebody who never found a budget-busting Republican initiative he could not vote for or a deficit-reducing Democratic initiative he could not vote against--and give him a fire chief's hat. As a result, Alan Simpson's ideas are now not Alan Simpson's ideas but instead the "recommendation[s][ from the president's debt commission."

The second is the capping of federal health spending growth at GDP+1%/year. That means that, adjusting the aging of the population, the government is supposed to spend a smaller share of incomes on health care as each year passes. That would require not just the repeal of the Affordable Care Act but the elimination of Medicare as we know it.

The best idea... is it cutting schools for soldiers' kids? Or is it paying for reductions in the top income tax rate by cutting the Earned Income Tax Credit so that there are once again lots of families in America where a parent works full time and yet the kids are still in poverty?


Brad DeLong