The draft proposal offered last week by the chairmen of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform was only the first shot in what is expected to be a very long war over how to eliminate the federal deficit and begin paying down our national debt. That debt already exceeds $13.7 trillion, and if the unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare are included, it actually tops $100 trillion.
Obviously, Republicans would not want to embrace every one of the commission’s recommendations, especially the tax hikes. Even so, the commission’s report does show the magnitude of the cuts actually needed to reduce spending to even 21 percent of GDP (and it really should go lower). But if the draft proposal by chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson accomplishes nothing else, it has already done a service by showing just how feeble the GOP’s commitment to deficit reduction really is.