American voters made their feelings very clear last week. U.S. government borrowing is too high and needs to be reduced. How sad, then, that the presidential commission tasked with coming up with a credible plan to cut the deficit is already being dismissed as a non-event.
“This is the most predictable economic crisis we have ever faced,” Erskine Bowles rightly said today as he unveiled his joint proposals with co-chair Alan Simpson.
What is lacking, though, is not a realization of this fact, but the political will and bipartisanship to find a solution. Already, some members of their own commission have expressed skepticism about the plan or dismissed it entirely, while the wider audience in Congress is hardly rushing to embrace the ideas.
The commission was supposed to show the way to bipartisanship and magically supply the missing political will. It is already clear that has not happened.
Bowles and Simpson challenged critics of their plan to come up with better ways to cut the deficit. Somehow, that too seems like a vain hope.