The co-chairs of President Barack Obama’s deficit reduction commission released Wednesday a revised version of their plan to reduce the burgeoning deficit by $3.8 trillion through 2020.
In releasing the revised report called “The Moment of Truth,” co-chairs Erskin Bowles, former chief of staff to Bill Clinton, and Alan Simpson, a former Republican Senator from Wyoming, said that “The era of debt denial is over, and there can be no turning back.” Together, they said, “we have reached these unavoidable conclusions: The problem is real. The solution will be painful. There is no easy way out. Everything must be on the table. And Washington must lead.”
The revised report proposes a six-part plan that includes reducing the deficit to 2.3% of GDP by 2015 and “sharply” reducing tax rates—including limiting the mortgage interest deduction—while also abolishing the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), and cutting “backdoor spending” in the tax code. The plan would also cap revenue at 21% of GDP and get spending below 22%, and stabilize debt by 2014 and reduce debt to 60% of GDP by 2023 and 40% by 2035. Just as in the draft version of the report, released on Nov. 10, the plan would also include cuts to Social Security and Medicare. The new plan would also cut 200,000 federal government jobs by 2020 and reduce defense spending.
Nancy Altman, co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, said in a statement that “Social Security did not cause the federal deficit and cutting benefits will not fix it. Social Security has not added one cent to the deficit. To include Social Security in this commission’s work puts the retirement security of the vast majority of Americans at great risk.”