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Greenstein: Principles for Deficit Reduction


CBPP President Robert Greenstein laid out key principles for a deficit-reduction deal at a National Journal event today:

It should strengthen the still-weak economy in the short term, not cause the loss of more jobs.  It should protect low-income Americans and avoid increasing poverty and inequality, a core principle of [the plan from fiscal commission co-chairs] Bowles-Simpson.  It should maintain adequate investment in core building blocks of future economic growth, like infrastructure, education, and research.  It should be balanced, on both the spending and tax sides and the defense and domestic sides.  And it should be sustainable, meaning that the savings it achieves in the first ten years shouldn’t disappear or diminish in subsequent years — it shouldn’t be based on timing gimmicks, but ongoing changes.

Our recent analysis discusses these principles in the context of two near-term priorities for Congress — avoiding a government shutdown and a default on the nation’s financial obligations — and explains why simply averting these crises is not enough.  How we avoid these crises matters very much as well.

Watch the entire event, including Greenstein’s keynote address, below: