Director of Federal Tax Policy
The congressional "supercommittee" that the debt limit deal establishes to recommend more deficit-reduction measures not only can consider revenue increases, but must consider them if it's going to produce a balanced plan. Here are five reasons why:
If the joint committee were only to cut entitlement programs to reach its target, how deep would those cuts be? The deal that President Obama and Speaker Boehner were negotiating several weeks ago would have raised Medicare's eligibility age, raised Medicare cost-sharing charges, shifted significant Medicaid costs to states, modified cost-of-living adjustments in Social Security and other benefit programs (and in the tax code), and instituted other entitlement savings. Those steps would have saved $650 billion to $700 billion over ten years. The joint committee would have to produce cuts twice as deep — and roughly twice as deep as those in the Gang of Six plan.
Fortunately, the supercommittee can avert this outcome by including meaningful revenues in its deficit-reduction proposals.