When Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson came out with their deficit plan last week, I got a little excited and rattled off like a million blog items about it. That turned out not to work so well for me. The more analysts looked at the plan, the worse it got, and after a while I decided their plan was a pretty bad idea. Oh well, lesson learned -- just because a couple bipartisan worthies come along promising to put our fiscal house in order, it doesn't mean I have to drop everything and...
Hey, look! New bipartisan deficit plan!
Okay, I know, I should probably wait. But seriously. This plan, by Alice Rivlin and Pete Domenici of the Bipartisan Policy Center, looks a lot more solid. None of the crazy unenforceable caps and wild plans to slash the federal workforce without reducing its responsibilities. It's actually a balanced proposal to distribute pain. It also sensibly includes a short-term payroll tax holiday to address the economic crisis. And the tax reform, while lowering the corporate and top income tax rates to 27%, which is below the lowest point Ronald Reagan cut them to, also makes the overall burden more progressive.
You can see why the Bipartisan Policy Center understood it had to strike out on its own and create an alternative to the half-baked Bowles-Simpson plan. This is it. This is the bipartisan plan I can get behind! Just look at them -- aren't they dreamy?
Yeah! Come on Ross Douthat -- let's start debating this and pretending Congress might actually take up its proposal.