Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I just took an hour and sat down and read "The Moment of Truth - The Final Report of The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform" Chaired by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.

It's a quick read because they wrote the report in words that the layman can understand. They lay out the guiding principles and values by which the Commission worked.  They are hard to argue against:
  • We all have the patriotic duty to make America better off tomorrow than it is today
  • Don't disrupt the fragile economic recovery
  • Cut and invest to promote economic growth and keep America competitive
  • Protect the truly disadvantaged
  • Cut spending we cannot afford - no exceptions
  • Demand productivity and effectiveness from Washington
  • Reform and and simplify the tax code
  • Don't make promises we can't keep
  • The problem is real, and the solution will be painful
  • Keep America sound over the long run
We could stop there and if Congress would just adopt these principles and values, then we would be making a huge step forward.  But, they went further in their study and made strong recommendations for sweeping changes that would change the course of our economic future.  The preamble of the report provides the tone and the direction that they chose to take. I encourage you to read it here:

The vision was there to bring together the Commission. The courage was there for individuals to risk their political careers to sit on the Commission and give 8 months of their lives to the effort. The give and take was there for recommendations to be made that could bring us together.  The fortitude and resolve was not there to complete what was started.  As I read the report, written in 2010, I realized, more than I desired, that another two years have gone by now since 2010 and soon we will reach another moment of truth. I hope we can face it, resolve it, move forward and live up to the first principle of the Commission: "We all have the patriotic duty to make America better off tomorrow than it is today".