If you liked the first Simpson-Bowles plan, good news! Washington's favorite bipartisan hypothetical budget slashers have come up with a sequel of sorts, proposing $2.4 trillion in new (and probably politically impossible) deficit cuts over the next decade, Politico reports. How would they get there?
- They'd slash $600 billion from Medicare and Medicaid—even though the White House says $400 billion is its upper limit.
- They'd raise $600 billion in new tax revenue by eliminating various deductions—even though the House GOP says all revenue increases are off the table.
- They'd use the less generous "chained CPI" formula for Social Security cost of living increases
- And they'd enact a host of other discretionary spending cuts, taking an ax to farm subsidies and increasing the amount military personnel and government employees must contribute to their health and retirement plans.
The plan goes above and beyond the $1.5 trillion in deficit reductions President Obama is seeking, and comes on top of the $2.7 trillion in reductions that have already been implemented since the original Simpson-Bowles commission disbanded in 2010, CNN points out. But expect the blueprint to become a major talking point on Capitol Hill in the near future.