The President's fiscal commission rejected a deficit-reduction plan that CTJ and others found to be seriously unbalanced. The plan was supported by 11 of the 18 commission members, but the rules of the commission specified that a plan could not be approved without a super-majority of 14 of the 18 votes. House and Senate leaders had promised to bring to the floor any deficit reduction plan that was approved by the commission, which they are now not obligated or likely to do.
The plan could still, unfortunately, influence lawmakers in the future. It relies on cuts in public services for two-thirds of the deficit reduction it strives for, while relying on increased revenues for only one-third. In fact, the plan claims it would somehow “cap” federal revenue at the arbitrary level of 21 percent of the economy. As a result, the plan relies far too much on cuts in public services that will be impossible to make without adversely affecting Americans — including those with very modest incomes.
As CTJ's statement on the plan explains, part of the problem is the commission’s approach to closing tax loopholes. The plan makes bold proposals to close tax loopholes, but unfortunately uses most of the resulting revenue to lower tax rates! Since the goal of this commission is to reduce the budget deficit, it’s hard to fathom why lowering tax rates would be on its agenda at all.
Read CTJ's full statement on the deficit plan.