Do Simpson-Bowles Fans Know What's In It?

A blog about business and economics.
Nov. 21 2011 5:55 PM

Do Simpson-Bowles Fans Know What's In It?

The new dynamic duo: Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

"Kirk Calls for Vote on Bowles-Simpson Commission Plan if Super Committe Fails" reads the headline on the press release. That's Senator Mark Kirk, Republican of Illinois. He's teaming up with Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia to make the call. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, is also talking up the Bowles-Simpson Commission plan.

The Obama White House was the prime mover behind the creation of the Bowles-Simpson Commission and liberals didn't really like its output, so ever since Obama chose not to throw his presidential weight behind the terms of their proposal citing Bowles-Simpson has become a staple of the president's critics. The problem is that most of these critics don't seem to be familiar with the content of the plan which has double the tax increases and double the defense spending cuts of the more recent plans out of the White House. If it were really true that Bowles-Simpson represented the right pole of the debate in Washington, we'd be having a very different conversation. The more likely reality is simply that Bowles-Simpson is "bipartisan" and not what the president put on the table. Since various people want to criticize Obama, and want to be bipartisan, this is the flag they're waving even while they simultaneously object to the president proposing more modestly scaled versions of the same ideas. 

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.



Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison

In much of America, beating your children is perfectly legal. 

Ken Burns on Why Teddy Roosevelt Would Never Get Elected in 2014

Cops Briefly Detain Django Unchained Actress Because They Thought She Was a Prostitute

Minimalist Cocktail Posters Make Mixing Drinks a Cinch

How the Apple Watch Will Annoy Us

A glowing screen attached to someone else’s wrist is shinier than all but the blingiest of jewels.


Rainbow Parties and Sex Bracelets

Where teenage sex rumors come from—and why they’re bad for parents and kids.


You Had to Be There

What we can learn from things that used to be funny.

Legendary Critic Greil Marcus Measures and Maps Rock History Through 10 Unlikely Songs

Catfish Creator Nev Schulman’s Book Is Just Like Him: Self-Deluded and Completely Infectious

Sept. 12 2014 5:54 PM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Sept. 14 2014 2:37 PM When Abuse Is Not Abuse Don’t expect Adrian Peterson to go to prison. In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 
Sept. 12 2014 5:54 PM Olive Garden Has Been Committing a Culinary Crime Against Humanity
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 13 2014 8:38 AM “You’re More Than Just a Number” Goucher College goes transcript-free in admissions.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 12 2014 4:05 PM Life as an NFL Wife: “He's the Star. Keep Him Happy.”
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 12 2014 5:55 PM “Do You Know What Porn Is?” Conversations with Dahlia Lithwick’s 11-year-old son.
Brow Beat
Sept. 14 2014 7:10 PM Watch Michael Winslow Perform Every Part of “Whole Lotta Love” With Just His Voice
Future Tense
Sept. 12 2014 3:53 PM We Need to Pass Legislation on Artificial Intelligence Early and Often
  Health & Science
New Scientist
Sept. 14 2014 8:38 AM Scientific Misconduct Should Be a Crime It’s as bad as fraud or theft, only potentially more dangerous.
Sports Nut
Sept. 12 2014 4:36 PM “There’s No Tolerance for That” Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh say they don’t abide domestic abuse. So why do the Seahawks and 49ers have a combined six players accused of violence against women?