Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Fix the Debt Releases Citizen's Plan

Oct 22, 2013

Yesterday, the Campaign to Fix the Debt unveiled its Citizens' Plan for lawmakers to consider over these next two months of budgetary debates. Lawmakers should take three steps: Stop the madness and end the crisis-to-crisis approach, start working together, and solve our debt problem by developing a comprehensive plan that would include entitlement and tax reform.

The release of the plan is fitting given most American's views on the budget outlook and the decisions that must be made:

The public is concerned about the debt, and is willing to accept the tough choices and the compromises needed to come up with a viable plan. We have a unique opportunity to take action with the current budget conference. What is required now is leadership.

The "Stop, Start, Solve" plan the Campaign puts forward would be a welcomed approach for most Americans. And there are models that lawmakers can follow when developing a comprehensive plan, like the recommendations from the Fiscal Commission, Domenici-Rivlin Deficit Reduction Task Force, and the Bipartisan Path Forward. Specifically, the Citizen's Plan calls for a plan that would:

  • Take steps to bring the debt down off of its current unsustainable path.
  • Replace some or all of the blunt mindless sequestration cuts with better targeted, longer-term reforms.
  • Significantly slow the growth of federal health care spending and improve the health care delivery system so that it is less of a drain on our economy and the rest of the budget.
  • Reduce and reform other areas of spending such as farm subsidies, federal employee retirement programs, and duplicative, wasteful, or low priority areas. We should also fix the way we measure inflation, by switching to the more accurate chained consumer price index.
  • Enact comprehensive tax reform by eliminating, reducing, and reforming tax preferences, lowering tax rates to grow the economy, and generating revenues.
  • Fix Social Security through a balanced plan or by establishing a bipartisan process on a separate track to restore the program’s financial health and strengthen it for future retirees and generations.
  • Address the debt ceiling either by increasing it or by fixing it on a more permanent basis, possibly by indexing it to a debt plan or to economic growth.
  • Grow the economy by implementing a thoughtful and well-targeted plan in a reasonable timeframe that allows the recovery to strengthen while dealing with the nation’s dangerous debt trajectory.

Of course, agreeing upon such a plan will be hard and require tough choices. But the problem requires that kind of leadership and the American people should demand action from our leaders:

Lawmakers should not be allowed to continue to use the same tired excuses that there is no time, it is too hard, or that the public does not want compromise. The public wants solutions. It wants to remove short-term crises in favor of long-term certainty and stability. It wants–and needs–true leadership.

Click here to read the release.