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Statement from Sen. Al Simpson and Erskine Bowles Regarding President Obama's FY 2013 Budget

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Statement from Senator Al Simpson and Erskine Bowles Regarding President Obama's Fiscal Year 2013 Budget 

WASHINGTON, DC -- Former National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform co-chairs Sen. Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles released the following statement in response to President Obama's FY 2013 budget: 

"In the framework he announced in April and what he submitted to the Select Committee in September, the President embraced many of the goals and principles outlined by the Fiscal Commission and incorporated some of the policies we proposed. We are pleased that the President’s latest budget continues to focus on deficit reduction and are also encouraged to see real, specific policies for limiting tax expenditures, slowing health care cost growth, and reducing spending throughout the government.  

While the President’s proposal is a step in the right direction, it would achieve less deficit reduction than the Fiscal Commission proposed when compared on an equal basis and would only briefly stabilize the debt at a level that is already too high.  

We do agree with the President that Congress should replace the across-the-board cuts required by the Budget Control Act (BCA) with a balanced, sensible plan to at least meet and hopefully exceed the deficit reduction goals of the BCA. Allowing the automatic across-the-board spending cuts (sequester) and an immediate increase in taxes provided for under current law would be terrible policy and prove harmful to the economy. But a decision to postpone tough choices once again by blocking the sequester and continuing our current tax policy without making the tough, smart choices to reduce the deficit will still send a powerfully negative message that the U.S. is yet unwilling to honestly confront our growing fiscal challenges.

With his budget submission today, the President has set out his approach to replacing the BCA sequester with a greater amount of deficit reduction in a way that makes choices and sets priorities without disrupting a fragile economic recovery. We expect Congressional Republicans to now put forward their own proposal for deficit reduction that exceeds the BCA goals while still reflecting their own priorities in the coming weeks.

Leaders in both parties must now move forward from these opening positions in order to reach a principled compromise that achieves enough deficit reduction to put the debt on a downward path relative to the economy, while getting health and retirement spending on a sustainable path and overhauling the tax code in a way that both reduces the deficit and improves the nation’s economic growth and competitiveness.  

Our leaders in Washington must work together to reach a bipartisan agreement on our long-term budgets now, not after the election. We remain hopeful that this leadership could soon come from the growing number of members of Congress from both parties who are expressing support for a truly serious deficit reduction plan. Our nation's leaders desperately need to put politics aside, pull together, not pull apart, and make the difficult choices needed to bring these destructive deficits under control." 

 

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The Moment of Truth project is a non-profit, non-partisan effort which seeks to foster honest discussion about the nation's fiscal challenges, the difficult choices that must be made to solve them, and the potential for bipartisan compromise that can move the debate forward and set our country on a sustainable path. The Moment of Truth project is a project of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

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Feb 13, 2012
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Our leaders in Washington must work together to reach a bipartisan agreement on our long-term budgets now, not after the election. We remain hopeful that this leadership could soon come from the growing number of members of Congress from both parties who are expressing support for a truly serious deficit reduction plan. Our nation's leaders desperately need to put politics aside, pull together, not pull apart, and make the difficult choices needed to bring these destructive deficits under control.