Advancing a Free Society

Fairly Understanding the Simpson-Bowles Social Security Proposal

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Co-chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles of President Obama’s Fiscal Responsibility Commission surprised the political world Wednesday when they publicly released their own (as opposed to a full commission) five-part plan for repairing the federal government’s dire fiscal outlook. The five components of the plan included proposed reductions in discretionary spending, fundamental tax reform, targeted savings in health care entitlements, savings in other mandatory spending, and comprehensive Social Security reform.

The Social Security proposals in particular have produced the usual rash of practiced indignation. One union leader called the proposals “reckless attacks on working Americans,” while another alleged that the chairs were telling working Americans to “Drop Dead.”

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