What the presidential budget commission should do

The fact that six members of the commission will come from John Boehner and Mitch McConnell means that it will be almost impossible to reach a consensus on controversial subjects. I’ve blogged about the limitations of a budget commission before, but I thought it might be helpful to suggest three positive things, in the spirit of cooperation, the budget commission could propose:

Strengthen Social Security. Social Security is the most successful anti-poverty program in this country’s history. It provides invaluable support for current retirees, future retirees and children. Social Security will continue to run a surplus until 2023, but faces a relatively modest long-term shortfall. The commission should reach out to Social Security actuaries and put together a package of reforms that strengthens both the program’s adequacy and solvency.

Our children, youth and seniors need critical investments across the lifespan. Our budget should reflect the values of our nation and our commitment to protect the most vulnerable. Reducing the deficit is important because it could infringe (through rising service on the debt) on our ability to make needed investments, not because balanced-budgets are intrinsically important.

Provide a budget plan that raises adequate revenues. A new report from the Center for Economic Policy Research points out that our budget woes are largely driven by the great recession and changes in the tax code last decade.


The views expressed in this blog do not represent the views or opinions of Generations United.

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