A big bipartisan shout out to the 100 Democratic and Republican representatives who came together this week and urged the super committee to “go big” in its recommendations. Led by Republican Mike Simpson (Idaho) and Democrat Heath Shuler (North Carolina), the group urged super committee members to develop a grand bargain extending well beyond the mandated $1.2 trillion in savings. They join 40 of their bipartisan colleagues in the Senate who sent a similar letter earlier this fall following the recommendations issued by the “Gang of Six.”
Although partisanship remains the default expectation, the potential for profound economic crisis seems to be inspiring a growing commitment to nation over party. The Bipartisan Policy Center’s own debt work has revealed that when you sharpen your pencils there is no escaping the conclusion that we must reduce our debt by at least $4 trillion over the next 10 years. Even more compelling is the fact that it’s simply impossible to succeed absent major structural reform to our entitlements that reduce spending and major structural reform to our tax code that increases revenue. The basic math of deficit reduction has been well known for many years. It is a very important and promising sign that a growing number of Democrats and Republicans are beginning to acknowledge this in public.