News Tip: Experts Available to Discuss New Simpson-Bowles Plan

Affordable Care Act key to next steps, says Sanford associate professor Donald Taylor

Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, co-founders of the Campaign to Fix the Debt, outlined a new proposal today to reduce the nation’s debt.

John Graham Professor of finance, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University Graham is director of the Duke/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey. The quarterly survey of Chief Financial Officers gives insights into the thoughts of top company leaders worldwide. Quotes: "Financial executives believe that the aggressive deficit-reduction plans outlined in Simpson-Bowles would be the best solution for the U.S. economy in the intermediate and long-term, much better than the sequester or kicking the can down the road.  "A plan like Simpson-Bowles would reduce spending by at least $2 for each $1 of increased tax revenue, and business leaders emphasize that these spending cuts are an essential part of tackling the deficit." Campbell Harvey  Professor of Finance, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University   Harvey is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Mass., former editor of the Journal of Finance and founding director of the Duke–CFO Survey.  Quote: "CFOs spoke loud and clear in our last survey and put Simpson-Bowles back on the table. Indeed, 76.1 percent advocated Simpson-Bowles or a tougher version that balances the budget in five years.  "Most of these CFOs are Republicans and they fully understand that a key component of Simpson-Bowles is the elimination of many deductions to increase revenue. CFOs told us that anything less than Simpson-Bowles is kicking the can down the road. "CFOs also warned of the dire consequences of a disorderly outcome -- like a full sequester -- with 66.8 percent saying they would cut capital spending and 70 percent saying they would slow or reduce hiring."  Donald H. Taylor Associate professor of public policy studies, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University  Taylor conducts research on aging and comparative health systems, including Medicare, long-term care and health policy. He laid out what he views as a grand bargain between the two parties that centers on a health reform deal in his recent book, "Balancing the Budget is a Progressive Priority." Taylor blogs about health care policy at Quotes:  "A key thing to watch is what Simpson-Bowles 2.0 says about the Affordable Care Act; the initial Fiscal Commission -- aka Simpson-Bowles -- report assumed its implementation and identified some next steps. This has been overlooked by many, and certainly by Republicans who claimed they wished the president had embraced the initial report. "I wrote in my book that the president made a mistake not embracing the original report, not because I think Republicans would have passed it if he had done so, but because it could have helped speed the public's acceptance of the law.  "I think that the key to a long run sustainable budget is identifying the next steps on health reform. Any Simpson-Bowles 2.0 that doesn’t make clear that the ACA is the only horse we have to ride at this point will be missing the best chance for us to address the biggest long-term federal budget issue -- health care costs.  "Next steps to the law are inevitable and needed, but cannot come so long as Republicans remain ideologically committed to repeal while offering no coherent alternative or bargaining position."