Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles are at it again. On Tuesday, February 26, they will offer yet another fix for the tax code and the US deficit.
The effort is to carve a path toward bipartisan compromise, a feat that continues to elude lawmakers.
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The two let the deficit-reduction panel in 2010 in putting together a bipartisan package that fell flat right out of the gate.
Many lawmakers left for recess this week after making little progress to avert the cuts scheduled to be enacted on March 1.
The cuts will be in force through September unless Congress intervenes. Some say intervention becomes more likely by the day.
Simpson is a Republican and Bowles a Democrat. The two say their new plan would reduce the deficit by $2.4 trillion over the next decade, which is more than the $1.5 trillion goal set by the White House.
The new Simpson-Bowles proposal would reduce spending by $600 billion in the form of cuts to health-care programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
Another $600 billion would come from either curbing or eliminating a number of tax breaks.
The final $1.2 trillion would come from capping discretionary spending, changing the cost-of-living calculation for Social Security beneficiaries, changes in farm subsidies, and changes to military and civilian retirement programs.
The new proposal will be the fourth attempt
by the pair in the past three years to galvanize a deficit-reduction deal between the two parties.