Here's how it happened:
The President, in an effort to get control of the budget and our growing national debt, appoints two well-known figures, former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson (Republican) and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles (Democrat) of North Carolina to craft a plan. This was back in 2010.
The Simpson-Bowles Commission did exactly that, crafting a plan that would reduce debt by $4 trillion over a decade by cutting defense and discretionary spending, curbing federal entitlement costs and reforming the tax code. As Alan Simpson describes it, "It is a balanced plan. I know that because we have pissed off just about everyone on one point or another."
The plan garnered a majority of Commission members, but fell short of the supermajority required. President Obama, after making much noise about establishing the effort, largely ignored it. With the exception of a few hardy souls, most of Congress ran from it. But Bowles and Simpson persisted, enjoining the support of Warren Buffett (independent), former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell (Democrat), respected former New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg (Republican), among others.
This week, Simpson-Bowles et al launched a campaign to enlist the support of taxpayers across the country to press for action – some action, any action – on the budget and our rapidly growing national debt. One initial goal is to obtain 10 million signatures on a petition calling on Congress to pass a comprehensive long-term plan by July 4, 2013.
Take a few minutes, and take a look at Fix The Debt. You can learn all about it it at www.fixthedebt.org – and, while there, become one of the 10 million supporters of this important initiative.
Congress has lost its nerve on most issues important to the country. Let's help them out on this one!
Listen to Warren Buffet, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles on CNBC here.