The 34 Deficit Reduction Plans

Budgeting

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Think the congressional “super committee” has a limited number of options when it comes to reining in U.S. debt and deficits?  Turns out that's not the case. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has a fantastic new website that provides instant policy alternatives from 34 – yes, 34 – separate and distinct deficit reduction plans. The choices range from the well known (Bowles-Simpson) to the obscure (Galston-MacGuineas Plan) as well as those from the left (Center for American Progress, Congressional Progressive Caucus) and the right (AEI, Heritage, CATO).

The website comes equipped with several clever tools that allow readers to compare up to three plans against each other, or to compare all 34 plans on specific issues such as Society Security, tax reform, health care or defense. Click on the Social Security tab, for example, and you’ll learn that the plans of Bowles-Simpson, the Gang of Six, Galson-MacGuineas, Esquire Commission, Domenici-Rivlin, Andy Stern, Center for American Progress, Representative Mike Quigley, and Senator Tom Coburn all call for indexing Social Security cost-of-living-adjustments to so-called “chained CPI.”  There is also a handy document identifying 10 common themes across the plans – including the need to close tax loopholes, reform major entitlements and reining in health care costs.

Whether the “super committee” will produce a credible, long-term plan to lower the nation’s deficit and chip away at the national debt is an open question. But if they don’t it won’t be for a lack of viable options. 


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