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Jun 30 2011
From Erskine Bowles and Al Simpson, Co-Chairs of President Obama's Bipartisan Deficit Commission: “Senators Lieberman and Coburn have made a constructive contribution to the discussion about how to bring our debt under control. Medicare is one of the largest and fastest growing programs in government and no fiscal plan can be complete without addressing its unsustainable cost growth. This Medicare reform plan builds on the Fiscal Commission recommendations by not only reforming cost-sharing rules and making necessary adjustments to provider payments and payments to drug companies, but actually doing even more to reduce costs. "The Fiscal Commission did not recommend raising the Medicare eligibility age in the short run; however, we did make it clear that such action should be considered in the long run if our Medicare proposals were insufficient in reducing the rate of growth in health care cost to GDP + 1 percent. We believe that as long as there are Medicaid and health subsidies for lower income individuals – which health care reform includes – a proposal with options similar to this one presents a sensible alternative to target our limited resources where they are needed most.
Jun 30 2011
As I know Senator Bennet said previously, I want to commend the hard work of the gang of six — the so-called “gang of six” — the bipartisan group that came up with both processes and a path forward. The Bowles-Simpson Commission that presented to those of us on the budget committee and to this body, a proposal.
Jun 29 2011
For all the gloom and doom about what happens if the United States defaults on its debt, you have to give the House Republicans credit for fighting hard for serious reductions in spending. And give the Democrats credit, too, for insisting on real negotiations over the revenue side of the ledger.
Jun 29 2011
Illinois Sen. Durbin says cut the deficit by implementing $4 trillion in cuts proposed by White House's fiscal commission chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson.
Jun 27 2011
The co-chairmen of President Obama’s bipartisan fiscal reform commission are calling on lawmakers and the White House to raise the country’s debt ceiling in exchange for $2 trillion in deficit savings over the next decade.
Jun 27 2011
Congress and the White House should agree to a $2 trillion down payment on the federal deficit in a deal to raise the debt ceiling but leave more significant reforms for later, according to the chairmen of President Obama's fiscal commission.
Jun 27 2011
On Aug. 2, the U.S. government is due to hit the limit on its borrowing. Lawmakers are scrambling to get a deal in place to raise that limit—but will it happen? And what will it look like? The Wall Street Journal's Gerard Baker spoke with Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, and Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a Georgia Republican. Here are edited excerpts of the discussion.
Jun 24 2011
Americans think differently about housing now: Developers have cut back on speculative projects and mortgage bankers view lending standards more soberly. Another important change in attitudes emerged this week when people were asked how they feel about giving up the ability to deduct mortgage interest from their personal income taxes.
Jun 23 2011
So let’s say you get a trillion dollars of spending cuts that Democrats don’t find objectionable and, in fact, don’t even consider spending cuts. How do you get tax increases that Republicans don’t find objectionable and, more to the point, don’t even consider tax increases? One option is to wipe out some tax breaks and close the big loopholes. But that gets a lot harder when you go from talking about vague “loopholes” to specific expenditures like “the mortgage-interest tax deduction.” Another option, and one that’s perhaps more likely, is to try to pass some tax increases that no one can understand.
Jun 20 2011
Negotiators trying to get the country's debt under control aren't likely to propose major changes to retirement benefits, but even slowing the growth of those benefits could yield substantial savings.