The Washington Post
Dec. 3, 2012
Perhaps the easiest trigger to pass would be another sequester, a set of unpalatable cuts and possibly tax increases meant to take place automatically should a deal not be reached by a certain deadline.
One way to do this would be to simply use the sequester we have now: Just delay it to take effect a year later than scheduled.
But given that that hasn’t proven incentive enough to pass a deal this time around, policymakers might want a trigger with slightly more bite. One option is the Bipartisan Policy Center’s “framework for a grand bargain,” which is meant to provide procedural tools to ease passage of a debt plan next year.
The BPC proposal would require a $4 trillion deficit reduction plan but allows it to pass with a simple majority of present and voting members in each chamber. That means no filibusters. Debate is limited to 20 hours, no exceptions, and after a conference committee lasting a maximum of two weeks, 10 hours of debate are allowed on the final bill.
If even those procedural tools aren’t enough, the BPC plan introduces a sequester-like “backdrop” plan. But instead of 50-50 cuts in defense and nondefense spending (with a dollop of Medicare provider cuts for good measure), the BPC backdrop is split half and half between cuts to tax expenditures (like deductions, credits and exemptions) and to mandatory programs other than Social Security (Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, etc.). The idea is to have a “severe but workable” debt plan that, while not politically palatable, addresses the same policies that a more worked-out debt deal would.
Read the full blog post here
Economic Policy Project