FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, March 8, 2011
CONTACT: CONTACT: Ian Koski at 202-224-4216
Serious attempt at deficit reduction requires closer look at advice in Bowles-Simpson report
Spending cuts won’t be enough to bring the deficit under control
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) on Tuesday urged his Republican and Democratic colleagues to heed the recommendations of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform as they look for ways to reduce the government’s $1.6 trillion annual deficit.
“While I support efforts to cut spending by looking at non-defense discretionary programs, we must acknowledge that discretionary cuts on their own won’t be enough to make a substantial impact on our deficit,” Senator Coons said. “The Bowles-Simpson commission was extremely instructive. I agree that spending cuts must be coupled with a comprehensive reform of our nation’s tax system, a closer look at entitlements like Medicare and Medicaid, as well as cuts to Pentagon spending. All options must be on the table for us to have a credible, serious and bipartisan discussion about reducing our deficit.”
The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform identified nearly $4 trillion in deficit reduction tactics through 2020, reducing the deficit to 2.3 percent of our nation’s gross domestic product by 2015. The recommendations would also stabilize the debt by 2014 and reduce debt to 60 percent of gross domestic product by 2023 and 40 percent by 2035.
“I also strongly support the efforts of Senator Warner, Senator Chambliss, and my colleagues in the bipartisan ‘gang of six,’ who have been working together to identify ways to reduce the deficit over the long-term,” Senator Coons added. “We got into this hole together and will need to climb out of it together.”
A member of the Senate Budget Committee, Senator Coons underscored the need for Congress to think bigger at Tuesday’s hearing on the Report of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. In his opening statement and questioning of Commission co-chairs Erskine Bowles and former Senator Alan Simpson, Senator Coons focused on the need for comprehensive tax reform that addresses both revenue and spending, while protecting the middle class.