Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Rudolph Penner: Controlling the Deficit--The Debate Continues

Feb 2, 2012 | Budget Process

CRFB board member Rudolph Penner recently co-authored a paper that is essentially a retrospective on the 2011 deficit debate. He and Urban Institute colleague John Palmer compared the President's Framework and the House Budget Resolution while also discussing the Budget Control Act that passed in August.

They describe the premise of the paper below:

House Republicans passed a budget in April 2011, largely based on the proposals of Chairman Ryan of the House Budget Committee (HBC). The president responded with his own budget framework. This paper spends considerable time describing these two approaches to longterm deficit reduction because they starkly illustrate the ideological gap between the president and the Republican Party on this matter. It is also fair to say that many congressional Democrats feel that the president’s proposals are not liberal enough, thus further heightening the contrast between the two parties.

Then they conclude:

Negotiations that build on the deficit reductions imposed by the BCA could be productive. But a huge ideological gap remains between the two political parties, and progress will be elusive unless both sides show more willingness to get things done for the good of the country. Without more progress, the nation will continue its march toward a sovereign debt crisis of Greek proportions. No one can predict when that might occur, but the risks are enormous, and it is time our leaders begin to lower them.

Click here to read the full paper.

"My Views" are works published by members of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, but they do not necessarily reflect the views of all members of the committee.