Monday, December 03, 2012

Boehner Proposes Imaginary Bowles Plan

How unserious was House Speaker John Boehner's fiscal ceiling offer to President Obama today? Boehner proposed implementing the Erskine Bowles plan. Not to be confused with the Simpson-Bowles; the Bowles plan was allegedly proposed during Bowles his testimony to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. The only problem is that Bowles himself said no such plan exists.

Erskine Bowles

While I'm flattered the Speaker would call something "the Bowles plan," the approach outlined in the letter Speaker Boehner sent to the President does not represent the Simpson-Bowles plan, nor is it the Bowles plan. In my testimony before the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, I simply took the mid-point of the public offers put forward during the negotiations to demonstrate where I thought a deal could be reached at that time.

The Joint Select Committee failed to reach a deal, and circumstances have changed since then. It is up to negotiators to figure out where the middle ground is today. Every offer put forward brings us closer to a deal, but to reach an agreement, it will be necessary for both sides to move beyond their opening positions and reach agreement on a comprehensive plan which avoids the fiscal cliff and puts the debt on a clear downward path relative to the economy.

Boehner is literally proposing imaginary fiscal policy. This is the most powerful man in Congress.

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