We have heard suggestions from the Congressional supercommittee, the Gang of Six, Simpson-Bowles and the even president’s own budget.
But in the aftermath of each Washington budget crisis, we’re still left with tentative, short-term solutions that serve merely as a Band-Aid. What’s missing is a substantive, long-term deal that fixes our nation’s feeble financial outlook. It’s clear the U.S. needs a lasting, well thought-out plan that looks at both spending and revenue, but ideologues on both sides of the aisle have essentially left those negotiations on life support.
The framework for a solution undoubtedly exists. There are several proposals out there that will allow Congressional leaders and the White House to not work from scratch. It’s a matter of sitting down and cobbling them together to find an effective compromise.
Last week, Congress and the president finally reached a deal to open the government and to raise the debt ceiling through early next year. As part of the agreement, Democrats and Republicans have assigned lawmakers – led by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., – to a committee designed to craft a broader budget plan. Such committees have a not-so-stellar past, but they won’t be examining solutions that are exceedingly foreign.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., recently told Slate magazine that there are a number of plans on the table that have already been “vetted.” He’s right. It’s up to him, and other Congressional leaders that don’t live on the fanatical fringe, to piece together a logical solution from those proposals.
By forging an effective solution, our country can avoid an economic disaster and escape the ongoing Washington mentality fixated on living crisis to crisis.