Simpson And Bowles’ Deficit Plan Redux

Simpson And Bowles’ Deficit Plan Redux

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The deficit-reduction duo are at it again, like a Hollywood franchise that keeps cranking out sequels.
Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, the former chairmen of President Obama's 2010 fiscal commission, are jumping back into the fiscal fight in Washington, and will be unveiling an updated $2.5 trillion deficit reduction plan today.

They previously announced a new budget plan in February, as the bipartisan tandem has become a traveling road show for fiscal discipline. The stream of deficit reduction proposals have enhanced their public standing, yet done little to break the partisan gridlock.

The latest Simpson-Bowles proposal calls for $740 billion in increased revenue over the next decade, which is not likely to get much traction from Republicans. It would also increase the Medicare eligibility age, an unpopular idea among Democrats. -  See the details obtained by The Hill here

MANHUNT SHUTDOWN COSTS BOSTON BILLIONS    It’s far too early to get a complete sense of the economic impact of Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon and the subsequent manhunt,” The Fiscal Times’ Yuval Rosenberg writes. However, a simple calculation based on Boston’s estimated $326 billion GDP in 2011, could mean “shutting down the area for a day could cost the regions’ economy about $1 billion. That doesn’t account for productivity lost nationally as workers tune into to TV news or other outlets to follow the unfolding events.” -  Read more at The Fiscal Times

MEDICARE OVERHAUL COULD SAVE $560 BILLION   The Bipartisan Policy Center on Thursday unveiled a slew of proposals to reform Medicare and save taxpayers an estimated $560 billion over the coming decade. One initiative alone that calls for imposing limits on the federal tax exclusion for employer-provided health insurance, would achieve the majority of the projected savings -- an estimated $262 billion over ten years.     -See the details at The Fiscal Times

IRS EMPLOYEES CHEAT GOVERNMENT WITH FOOD STAMPS     Twenty-four current and former Internal Revenue Service employees were charged with fraud on Wednesday for allegedly stealing $250,000 in government benefits like unemployment insurance, and food stamps.

Thirteen employees allegedly applied for numerous federal benefits by falsely stating that they were unemployed. If convicted, they could face up to five years in prison. The other 11 employees were charged with property theft totaling over $1,000, according to the Associated Press.  -  Read more at GovExec

ANOTHER POLL OF PUBLIC PESSIMISM To add to the pile of polling data suggesting the public’s distrust toward Washington and pessimism toward the economy: a new Associated Press-GfK poll found just one in four Americans expect their financial situation to improve over the next year. And only 7 percent of respondents said they trust the government to do what is right "just about always,” while 14 percent trust it "most" of the time, two-thirds said "some of the time,” and 11 percent say they never do. -  Read more at MSN

Brianna Ehley is the former Washington Correspondent for The Fiscal Times. She is currently a reporter on Politico's health care team in Washington, D.C.