Bowles and Simpson offer a modified budget plan

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 18, 2013 at 9:02 pm •  Published: April 18, 2013
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Obama and the top GOP negotiator, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, stopped talking after failed talks in 2011 and late last year. It's commonly assumed that the need this summer for must-pass legislation to increase the government's borrowing cap will draw the weary combatants back into negotiations.

The revised Bowles-Simpson plan proposes about $600 billion in increased taxes over the coming 10 years on top of the $600 billion-plus signed by Obama in January, another $600 billion or so in cuts to Medicare, and deeper cuts to domestic agencies and the Pentagon than proposed by the president.

Bowles and Simpson believe it's crucial to get the government's debt below 70 percent of the size of the economy, something that Obama's budget fails to do.

Obama and Boehner have twice seemed close to a budget bargain, but Boehner walked away from the talks both times after detecting resistance from top Republicans.

"The last two years have been marked by fiscal brinksmanship," Bowles and Simpson said in a statement. "Instead of enacting a comprehensive deficit reduction plan ... policymakers have jumped from crisis to crisis, waiting until the last moment to do the bare minimum to avoid catastrophe."

The original Bowles-Simpson plan arrived in late 2010 after midterm elections in which Republicans took back the House. The new version contains smaller tax increases than called for in the original plan and added greater protections for low-income seniors under plans to curb Social Security cost-of-living increases.

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