Republicans Endorsing The Simpson-Bowles Plan Are Asking For More Revenue Than Obama

Since the election, many Republicans have come out in support of the Bowles-Simpson plan for deficit reduction. For instance, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said, “I’m willing to say yes to Simpson-Bowles,” newly elected Minority Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) called it a “roadmap,” and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) said the country should use “the Simpson-Bowles approach.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reacted to President Obama’s demand for $1.6 trillion in new tax revenue by saying, “let’s be clear: an opening bid of $1.6 trillion in new tax hikes isn’t serious. It’s more than Simpson/Bowles or any other bipartisan commission has called for.”

However, new report from the Center for American Progress explains that the Bowles-Simpson plan for deficit reduction actually creates almost $500 billion more revenue than President Obama’s budget. If fully enacted, the bipartisan commission’s plan would generate $2.7 billion from tax increases by 2022:

The oft-cited figure is that the Bowles-Simpson plan would raise $1.2 billion in new revenue. However, this misses an important piece of the puzzle: the panel assumed the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans would expire and create $1.5 billion in new revenue separate from the $1.2 billion found elsewhere.

The bipartisan committee that produced the report, known as The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, was created by President Obama in 2010. Its proposal never made it to Congress, though, because Republican members of the House — led by former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan — voted it down.

— Greg Noth