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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press There Was No Bowles-Simpson Commission Report, #45,373

There Was No Bowles-Simpson Commission Report, #45,373

Saturday, 14 April 2012 07:49

Today Ezra Klein is guilty of that standard Washington insider mistake of referring to a Bowles-Simpson commission report. In his column, he contrasts the tax increases proposed by the commission (along with increases advocated by others), with the pledges by Romney to raise taxes on no one and the pledge by President Obama to not raise taxes on anyone other than the top 2 percent.

Of course there was no Bowles-Simpson commission report. The by-laws clearly state:

"The Commission shall vote on the approval of a final report containing a set of recommendations to achieve the objectives set forth in the Charter no later than December 1, 2010. The issuance of a final report of the Commission shall require the approval of not less than 14 of the 18 members of the Commission."

There was no vote taken on anything by December 1. (In fact there was never a formal vote.) And the report touted as being the commission report never had the support of more than 11 of the 18 members of the commission report.

Hence this report is accurately described as the report of the co-chairs, Morgan Stanley director Erskine Bowles and former Senator Alan Simpson. In other words, the "Moment of Truth" is a lie.

Comments (3)Add Comment
There were actually two sets of recommendations
written by John Q, April 15, 2012 12:20
from members of the commission. Funny how we never hear about the other (in my view more plausible) plan from commission member Schakowsky.


written by Ellis, April 15, 2012 7:17
Does it really make much of a difference? The Bowles -Simpson Commission was a creature of the Obama administration -- the very people who Dean Baker wants to re-elect this year.
Now that's amusing!
Good Cop/Bad Cop
written by tom allen, April 16, 2012 12:53
It's not as though there's an alternative. You know, like Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party, who's fighting for pretty much everything Dean is recommending, but is getting no coverage from him or other A-list bloggers.

Nope. Gotta vote for the Good Cop. Or else the Bad Cop will ... enact exactly the same policies.


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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.