With Fiscal Cliff Looming, Latest Edition of THE RIPON FORUM looks at Renewed Interest in Simpson-Bowles Debt Reduction Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the fiscal cliff looming at the end of the year, the latest edition of THE RIPON FORUM looks at the renewed interest in the Simpson-Bowles debt reduction plan and why, 18 months after it was released, the plan remains, in the words of one of its authors, “the only game in town.”

“It’s the only one that irritates everybody,” explains former SenatorAlan Simpson  in an interview with the centrist Republican can policy journal, “and it’s the only one that will work because we’re very specific. We spent seven months at it, and received a vote of five Democrats and five Republicans and one independent. I mean, how can you do any better than that in the tortured system that’s going on out there now?”

Simpson authored the plan with Democrat Erskine Bowles. In the interview, he also discusses why the plan remains the most politically viable solution for addressing the fiscal challenges we currently face.

“This baby is the only game in town,” he states. “There’s nowhere else to go. You can go to us or parts of Domenici-Rivlin or the Gang of Six plan or the work of the Super Committee and Obama-Boehner. But the framework has got to be along the lines of what Erskine and I and nine other brave souls recommended in 2010 — cuts to wasteful spending in defense and non-defense, health care cost controls, Social Security solvency measures, and tax reform that lowers rates but gets more revenues.”

In addition to the interview with Senator Simpson, the latest FORUM also features an essay by former U.S. Comptroller David Walker , who writes about the looming fiscal cliff and the long-term reforms that need to be put in place to prevent a fiscal disaster.

“Given the true size of our challenge and the rate at which our federal financial sinkhole is getting deeper, “ Walker writes, “Washington policymakers need to make real progress to address the nation’s structural deficits no later than 2013 … The needed progress should come in the form of a “grand bargain” that would involve budget reform, social insurance program reforms, reform of the Affordable Care Act, defense and other spending reductions, and comprehensive tax reform.”Other authors and essays featured in the Summer 2012 edition of THE RIPON FORUM include:

  • Ed Lorenzen , the Executive Director of The Moment of Truth Project — writing about the renewed interest in the Simpson-Bowles plan and how the plan would address the fiscal challenges facing America;
  • Former Pennsylvania Representative Phil English  – writing about the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the opportunity it provides for American Leadership in the Asia-Pacific economy;
  • Bill Reinsch , the President of the National Foreign Trade Council – writing about the possibility of a new trade agreement between the United States and the European Union;
  • Former House Leadership aide Billy Pitts  – writing about the procedural dysfunction currently weighing down Congress and the need to establish a Joint Committee on Procedural Reform;
  • Steve Caldeira, the President & CEO of the International Franchise Association – writing about the looming fiscal cliff and why raising taxes would push many business owners over the edge;
  • Kutztown University Professor and former statehouse aide George Hale  – writing about “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Republican Governors;”
  • Old Dominion University Professor Jesse Richman  – writing about the 2012 presidential election and why “Virginia, Virginia, Virginia” will be critical to the results.

The latest edition of THE RIPON FORUM also features a profile of Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuño , who, among other things, discusses his efforts to bring budget deficits under control and GOP efforts to win the Hispanic vote.

The RIPON FORUM is published by The Ripon Society, a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.