Washington, D.C. – In an op-ed published in 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, called on the president and Congress to take serious steps to boost the economy and rein in long-term debt.
“This is an election year, but it doesn’t have to be a wasted year on the fiscal front. It doesn’t have to be another year of kicking the can down the road,” said Senator Domenici and Dr. Rivlin in the op-ed. “Those who believe that the fiscal crisis can wait until 2013 assume that the November 2012 elections will yield some dramatic change in the political leadership. We believe that such assumptions are very unrealistic.”
Democrats and Republicans would find it beneficial to their work in 2013 and beyond if they are able to pass a budget resolution and make progress on economic recovery this year, insisted Senator Domenici and Dr. Rivlin.
Calling the president’s budget a “credible opening bid in what could be a constructive negotiation,” Senator Domenici and Dr. Rivlin urged the administration to support fundamental reforms to entitlements and tax policy, and, in the process, use the bully pulpit to engage both parties and the American people in a larger conversation on debt reduction.
“All serious bipartisan efforts to stabilize the federal debt … have concluded that we must slow the growth of the major entitlements and raise additional revenue from a more efficient, fairer tax system,” said Senator Domenici and Dr. Rivlin. “Politicians have to face reality—it’s always a political year. We have used that excuse year after year, as deficits have soared and as our national debt has reached unsustainable levels. Indeed, it may be that in an election year, when voters are really listening, gives policymakers the best chance to educate and legislate.”
Read the full editorial here.
Senator Domenici and Dr. Rivlin led a bipartisan task force of 19 former White House and Cabinet officials, former Senate and House members, former governors and mayors, and business and labor leaders, which released its bold, comprehensive plan, Restoring America’s Future, to address the nation’s debt crisis in November 2010.