The Positives and Negatives of Bowles-Simpson

Bowles-Simpson is most likely, on balance, an austerity measure which will harm economic growth. It has some positive ideas like raising the age for starting to receive Medicare benefits and eliminating the Sequester and debt ceiling deadlines. It is not designed to stimulate the economy or create good tax paying jobs. It lowers tax rates and offsets the revenue losses by reducing deductions and government spending. It is designed to be slightly revenue positive for the US government and to reduce the ratio of the National Debt to the GDP over a ten year period. It includes so many drastic income tax and Medicare and other spending changes that, if it is enacted as vaguely proposed, attempts that have been made to evaluate future effects on the federal deficit, are likely to prove to be wrong by a large margin.

When I read summaries of the proposal, as revised in April 2013, I get the feeling that they have spent thousands of hours rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

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