Apr 12, 2011
President Obama will lay out his approach to the nation’s fiscal problems tomorrow, and the smart money seems to believe he’ll endorse the so-called Simpson-Bowles plan, more or less. (Update: this afternoon the White House seemed to be backing away from that). Since a large part of the reaction when the plan was first proposed was to the effect that it would never fly, that’s an advance. But whether the plan should fly is another question. Time to get prepped.
Return of the Fiscal Commission
It’s important to remember that the Simpson-Bowles plan was not, in the end, the official report of the president’s fiscal commission. While a majority voted in favor, the plan didn’t get the “supermajority” required under the executive order creating the panel. But the plan did become the basis for a lot of discussion and for the negotiations by the so-called “gang of six” senators working to create a budget deal.
The report itself is still available at the Fiscal Commission web site.
We rounded up summaries of the report itself and the reaction to it in this post: The Moment of Truth, but for Whom?
This was one of a number of plans put out last fall, and the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget did a useful service by comparing the plans and pointing out common themes.
It never hurts to revisit the basics, particularly on an issue where so many people are fuzzy on the facts. Here’s a White House chart that shows how the government spends its money:
Here’s where the government gets its money, from PublicAgenda.org:
From the Fiscal Commission, here’s where the national debt is headed if we stay on our current course:
Join the discussion! Your voice is important. You can comment here at OurFiscalFuture.org, on Facebook, and on Twitter. And to learn more about the numbers that set the stage for some of our choices, check out our slideshow, iPhone and Android apps, and Our Fiscal Future’s Visual Budget Tool.
Fiscal Future Daily is produced by Public Agenda for Choosing Our Fiscal Future, in partnership with the National Academy of Public Administration and with support by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The editor in chief is Scott Bittle, with contributors Francie Grace, David White, Jen Vento, Hart Hooton and Tom Watson.