“Any grand bargain must include Medicare and tax reform”
Nov. 17, 2011
Washington, D.C. - In an op-ed published by The Hill today, former Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete Domenici and former White House Budget Director Alice Rivlin, co-chairs of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Debt Reduction Task Force, stressed that Medicare and broad-based tax reform are prerequisites for a grand bargain to be developed by the super committee and implemented by Congress. “Any complete solution…requires that Democrats agree to structural reform of Medicare to slow its cost growth and Republicans agree to increase revenue to pay for the retirement of the baby boomers,” they said in the op-ed.
As the longest-serving chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and founding director of the Congressional Budget Office respectively, Domenici and Rivlin have well over half a century of experience on fiscal issues, and they have spent the majority of the last two years warning about the pending debt crisis and developing a comprehensive solution. Their proposal recognizes that the fix must address the big-ticket items that will stabilize our economy and facilitate growth.
We need “fundamental reform of our arcane tax code to create a simpler, pro-growth system [that] will be more progressive than the current [one],” said the op-ed. Much of the piece focused on the defined support proposal that has played a role in the super committee’s negotiations: “In short, the Domenici-Rivlin plan preserves Medicare for those who want it, protects low-income beneficiaries from cost increases and reduces federal expenditures by flattening the steep Medicare spending trend.”
As veterans to previous bipartisan budget deals, Senator Domenici and Dr. Rivlin encouraged the super committee and others in Congress to be bold, concluding that “any plan without [significant Medicare and tax reform] should go back to the drawing board.”
Read the full editorial here. Learn more about BPC’s Debt Reduction Task Force here.
Economic Policy Project