Another persepctive on Gang of Six

From the Center for Budget Policy Priorities:

Some describe the Senate Gang of Six’s budget plan as a kind of fiscal Holy Grail. Others denounce it as a deeply unjust plan that cuts deeply into vital programs for the poor and the middle class while shielding the wealthy. Neither characterization withstands scrutiny. The plan is something of a mixed bag, with both very positive elements and some quite troubling ones, especially in health care.

Any assessment, however, needs to consider the current policy and political context. In that sense, the plan overall represents a significant step forward.

The Gang of Six plan is closely patterned on the recommendations that a majority on President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (“Bowles-Simpson”) set forth. When commission co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson issued that plan, our assessment of it was critical.[1] Only weeks before, a Bipartisan Policy Center commission chaired by former Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete Domenici and former Clinton budget director Alice Rivlin had produced a deficit-reduction plan evenly split between budget cuts and revenue increases: every dollar in budget cuts was matched by a dollar in increased revenues. The Bowles-Simpson plan essentially moved the goal posts, calling for $2 in budget cuts for every $1 in revenue increases. [2]

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