Deficit-Cutting Chairmen Call Washington's Bluff
Perhaps you don't want to play poker with Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.
Mr. Simpson, the Republican and former Senator from Wyoming, and Mr. Bowles, the Democrat and former White House chief of staff, are chairmen of the federal deficit-cutting commission charged with devising a way to reduce the red ink Washington is producing. They oversee an 18-member, bipartisan panel that is supposed to come up with a plan by Dec. 1, provided they can get 14 of the 18 commission members to agree on something.
That's a big if. But the two have at least increased the odds of success with the clever way they rolled out their own personal recommendations Wednesday on how to suck up that red ink.
Specifically, they jolted the capital by laying out ideas to achieve some $4 trillion in deficit reduction by 2020. Look carefully at what they did and how they did it, and you'll see that their effort was designed to box in those on all sides who would rather talk in high-sounding generalities about the deficit than deal with the unpleasant specifics.
That doesn't mean they will succeed, but their tactics have at least given them a better shot.
Read the whole thing. It seems well thought-out, and they announced it publicaly rather than privately, so it can't just be ignored. It surpasses the requested reduction amount, and has wiggle room for adjustments. Sounds like a great starting point.