The Deficit Commission co-chairs just published a severe deficit reduction plan that would save $200 billion by 2015.Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson achieve their savings by tackling sacred cows like social security benefits and defence spending.
Consequently, this plan will be hard to stomach for politicians of any party. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex) gave a typical reaction to the AP: “It’s a very provocative proposal. Some of it I like. Some of it disturbs me. And some of it I’ve got to study.”
There are a few major differences between this plan and the austerity budget proposed by the conservative Heritage Foundation. First, Bowles and Simpson would cut from defence spending by $100 billion, while the Heritage Foundation would cut hardly anything. Second, they want to curb cost-of-living increases for Social Security, which the alternate plan does not. Third, they would withhold many cuts until 2012 to allow the economy to recover. They also don’t want to repeal health care reform.
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