The Budget Control Act of 2011 established spending caps to reduce the federal deficit by $.9 trillion over the next 10 years.
The congressional super committee is tasked with identifying at least $1.5 trillion in additional savings or new tax revenue by Nov. 23, for a total reduction of over $2 trillion.
But the Government Accountability Office determined that even this level of deficit reduction is not sufficient to ensure sustainability.
Last December the report of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, also known as the Bowles-Simpson plan, recommended steps to reduce the federal deficit by $4 trillion.
The commission co-chairs as well as 45 senators and 100 House members have called for the congressional super committee to identify $4 trillion in deficit reduction to truly solve our federal debt problem.
The consensus is that anything less than $4 trillion won’t work.
But there is no real world way to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction without raising taxes.
The Cut, Cap and Balance Act is generally portrayed as a no tax solution.
But it calls for federal expenditure caps that average 20.5 percent of gross national product for the next 10 years and for the budget to be balanced.
The estimated federal revenue for 2011 is 14.4 percent of GNP.
We cannot meet a straightforward constitutional requirement for a balanced budget if revenues are below expenditures by an amount equal to 6.1 percent of GNP.
And even the proponents of a balanced budget amendment voted against what such an amendment would require when they extended the Bush era tax cuts and reduced social security payroll withholding without also voting for corresponding spending cuts.
The current federal debt is about $45,000 per person or $180,000 for a family of four.
It is neither realistic nor responsible to expect the federal debt problem to be solved with no one paying more tax. Not raising taxes means refusing to solve debt problem.
The realistic and workable spending cuts and tax increases of the Bowles-Simpson plan are still the best solution to the federal debt problem.
The plan is online at www.fiscalcommission.gov.
Please contact your representatives in Congress and urge them to vote for legislation to enact the recommendations of the Bowles-Simpson plan.