Welcoming the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform
With members appointed by the leaders from both political parties in both houses of Congress as well as the President, the Commission’s objective is to put forward proposals to balance the budget excluding interest payments on the debt (the so-called primary budget) by 2015 and to meaningfully improve the long-term fiscal outlook. Meeting the medium-term target means that by the middle of this decade, we would be paying for the operations and programs of the federal government and not increasing our debt relative to the size of the economy; under current projections, the result would be stable overall deficits (including interest payments) hovering around 3 percent of GDP. The Commission will also examine changes to address the growth of entitlement spending and the gap between the projected revenues and expenditures of the Federal government over the long term.
To report out a recommendation, the Commission would need 14 out of 18 votes, ensuring that any report will have bipartisan support. The Commission will issue its recommendations by December 1, 2010, and the leaders of both the Senate and the House have assured us that they will bring these recommendations to a vote before the end of the current Congress.
In the past, our nation’s leaders used extraordinary processes – much like this fiscal commission – to construct solutions that, for example, helped address Social Security’s looming imbalance in the early 1980s. We believe that the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform can be just as successful.
Erskine Bowles was a key architect of the 1997 bipartisan budget agreement which helped put it into surplus, and Alan Simpson – throughout his almost two decades in the Senate – was a consistent voice for fiscal discipline and commonsense solutions. I am glad that they have decided to serve their country once more, and look forward to the leadership of both parties on Capitol Hill making their appointments so that this Commission can begin its important work for the American people.
White House Blogs
- The White House Blog
- Middle Class Task Force
- Council of Economic Advisers
- Council on Environmental Quality
- Council on Women and Girls
- Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
- Office of Management and Budget
- Office of Public Engagement
- Office of Science & Tech Policy
- Office of Urban Affairs
- Open Government
- Faith and Neighborhood Partnerships
- Social Innovation and Civic Participation
- US Trade Representative
- Office National Drug Control Policy