The Politics of Entitlement Reform and the Budget Deficit
With a renewed focus on the budget deficit and national debt, due in part to the midterm election results, attention now turns to two important reports: the first by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force and the second two weeks later by the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform [the commission’s co-chairs issued their preliminary report earlier]. Will there finally be a consensus among federal policymakers on how to increase revenues or cut spending?
In Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, Senior Fellow Isabel Sawhill, director of Budgeting for National Priorities at Brookings, and Greg Anrig, vice president for policy at the Century Foundation, debated the pros and cons of major entitlement reform. On November 17, following the release of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force report, the Budgeting for National Priorities project hosted a reprise of the Sawhill-Anrig debate. A diverse panel of experts offered commentary on the report, as well as broadened the issue to consider whether the new Congress will be able to reach the compromises necessary on revenues and spending to reduce the deficit.
Materials Presented at the Event
Download the Domenici-Rivlin Debt Reduction Task Force Plan » (PDF)
Download the Bowles-Simpson Fiscal Commission Draft Plan » (PDF)
Download Greg Anrig’s PowerPoint presentation » (PDF)
Read the reaction to the Bowles-Simpson plan by James R. Horney, Paul N. Van de Water and Robert Greenstein »
Read the Aaron-Steuerle point-counterpoint on the budget challenge »