Monday, August 10, 2009

"Drowning In Red Ink," Domenici Urges Reform

Calling the size of the federal debt unsustainable and a critical economic threat to America, Former U.S. Senator Pete V. Domenici and the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) today released a special report entitled, “Drowning In Red Ink” that offers five recommendations for a path forward to fixing the nation’s daunting federal deficit and debt crisis.

The recommendations are based on remarks by a prominent bipartisan group of budget experts during a BPC symposium on May 6, 2009, “Unprecedented Federal Debt: Putting Our Fiscal House in Order” that focused on various dimensions of the problem.

Senator Domenici, a Senior Fellow at the BPC and former Chairman of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, spearheaded the organization’s first major federal debt event and report in an effort to inform the American public about the nation’s fiscal state of affairs.

Domenici said its time to take action.
The fiscal health of our nation is at stake. We can no longer continue on the present path of unprecedented deficits and debt. Without dramatic changes in fiscal policy, America will find itself far weaker in the world, economically and strategically.”

“Drowning in Red Ink” calls for creating a commission, outside Congress, empowered to make recommendations on a global solution to deficits, including tax reforms, entitlement changes, and new ways of measuring and controlling government finances, and compel Congressional Action on such recommendations.

The new report urges immediate reform to Medicare and Social Security in order to bring solvency to those systems long-term. The report embraces comprehensive tax reform to make the system more streamlined, understandable, equitable and competitive while also generating adequate revenues. And, it promotes re-enacting true statutory budget control (like a firm PAYGO regime) that addresses discretionary and mandatory spending as well as tax preferences. The report also encourages leaders to recognize the international dangers America faces as it transfers more and more of its wealth to other countries that own and, hopefully, continue to buy U.S. sovereign debt issuance.

“Drowning In Red Ink” has been distributed to members of Congress with a letter of support from U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and Jim Cooper (D-Nashville). Urging their colleagues to take action on the issue of the national debt, representatives Ryan and Cooper highlighted the BPC report saying:
While we may not agree on all the proposed solutions or ideas, there is a clear consensus that current projections of debt levels are unsustainable. Without action, the United States faces dramatic increases in borrowing costs that pose a grave risk to our economy and will place an enormous burden on our children’s backs.
Under Senator Domenici’s leadership , Congress produced three consecutive federal balanced budgets – the first time such a balance had been achieved in four decades.

To read the full report, go to

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Jim Baca said...

Let me get this straight. Pete was one of the biggest enablers of this mess, ever since Reagan, and now he wants to fix it? He was a big supporter of the war and was a champion of lax regulation on the financial community.

Life is too short.

Jim said...

I suggest that we name the national debt "The Pete Domenici National Debt". As Budget Chair under both Reagan and Bush II, he enabled the massive increase in the debt. He voted against the 1993 Clinton budget which led to a projected surplus of $5.6 trillion in 10 years when Clinton left office.