The American Spectator- ‘Blue Dog’ Solution to the Debt Crisis

Economics professors Dr. John Merrifield and Dr. Barry Poulson are hopeful that moderate Democrat support for a Balanced Budget Amendment may provide the basis for a successful bipartisan resolution. 

“Moderate Democrats in Congress are finally showing some backbone,” they say. “A ‘Blue Dog’ coalition of 27 Democrats is supporting a joint resolution proposing a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution. Rep. Ben McAdams (D-Utah) introduced the legislation, H.J. Resolution 55.

“In the current legislative session, Republicans have introduced 16 resolutions calling for a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.

“With such bipartisan support, enacting a resolution for a balanced-budget amendment should be a slam dunk. As McAdams noted, “Both parties have behaved in a way that is fiscally irresponsible … the Day of Reckoning is coming.”

In a brief analysis of the specifics of the McAdams (House) and Tester (Senate) resolutions, Poulson and Merrifield address the necessity of reforming Social Security and Medicare, and point to Switzerland for a tested model.

“Most of the deficits and debt projected in the federal budget are linked to these entitlement programs. If reforms to entitlement programs are not implemented to constrain the growth in these programs, there is no way Congress could reduce deficits and debt.

“A possible solution to the U.S. entitlement crisis could mimic one successfully implemented in Switzerland. When the Swiss enacted their so-called ‘debt brake,’ they exempted major reforms to their Social Security program. The Swiss government, however, imposed reforms designed to maintain actuarial accountability. The reforms included changes in contribution rates and benefits, as well as the age of eligibility. In fact, the Swiss government is required to maintain an actuarially sound Social Security system.”

Click here to read the complete article as it appeared in The American Spectator.

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