Equally important, the plan puts the right focus on the tax reform debate, which should not be about whether to extend or end current tax rates for some people. Instead, the discussion should be about how to simplify an overly complex and outdated tax code to make it fairer, more efficient and more productive, so that lower marginal rates for individuals and corporations allow dollars to flow toward spurring the economic growth we so urgently need.
Unfortunately, significant health-care savings are missing from the plan; this is an issue that will have to be addressed soon. Even if all of the provisions are adopted and adhered to for the next 15 years, our national debt will be brought back down only to today’s level – 60 percent of gross domestic product, which is far higher than the healthy average level of 35 percent, where it stood for the past 40 years.
Nonetheless, I support this plan, warts and all, because it sends a critical message to the American people, financial markets and the international community that the U.S. government is finally ready to act seriously, decisively and responsibly about our short and long-term fiscal crisis.