Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Another Bipartisan Letter Calls for “Go Big” Approach

Oct 28, 2011

In addition to the letter from a large, bipartisan group of House members that is still being circulated for signatures, Go Big gained further momentum today as yet another bipartisan letter from members of the House of Representatives was sent to the Super Committee, urging them to create a plan that achieves $4 trillion in deficit reduction.

The letter, signed by Reps. John Carney (D-DE), Jim Rennaci (R-OH), Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Mike Quigley (D-IL), and Peter Welch (D-VT), cited both the Fiscal Commission’s and the Gang of Six’s reports on the need for $4 trillion in savings to stabilize the debt. In the letter, they specifically call for a Go Big approach and even echoed our political calculus regarding a smaller deal:

“We urge you to use this opportunity to go big and reduce our deficit by $4 trillion and make a historic and lasting impact on our deficit and debt. Our constituents are demanding bold action and, given the gridlock experienced in Washington this year, it is likely that a smaller deal will entrench stakeholders rather than bring them together.”

In addition to urging a Go Big plan, they also suggest a plethora of reforms to the congressional budget process. For example, they call for a bi-annual budget process, switching to an accrual accounting system, regular reviews of all tax expenditures, and analysis of the second decade budget impact of bills, as opposed to simply the first ten years as is currently common practice. Ideas like more oversight of tax expenditures were recommended by the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform in the report, Getting Back in the Black.

We find this letter to be yet another encouraging example of the viability, demand and bipartisan support for a Go Big approach, especially given the statement that “our constituents are demanding bold action.” As the Super Committee proposal deadline fast approaches, these letters and over 30 sets of recommendations will go a long way towards encouraging the Super Committee to Go Big and to set in place a plan to get our fiscal house in order.