John Bullis: Key thoughts from the Simpson-Bowles report |

John Bullis: Key thoughts from the Simpson-Bowles report

John Bullis
For the Nevada Appeal

The December 2010 Report of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, titled “The Moment of Truth,” is full of good information and ideas.

It displays very well “The Looming Fiscal Crisis.” The gap between spending and revenue was just under 9 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2010. That year, federal spending was nearly 24 percent of GDP (the value of all goods and services produced in the economy), while tax revenues stood at 15 percent of GDP. The report included the following assertions and recommendations:

• “Continued inaction is not a viable option, and not an acceptable course for a responsible government.”

n “We need to implement policies today to ensure that future generations have retirement security, affordable health care and financial freedom.”

• “Enact tough discretionary spending caps to force budget discipline in Congress.”

• “Comprehensive Tax Reform … sharply reduce rates, broaden the base, simplify the tax code…”

• “Institute additional long-term measures to bring down spending growth (in health care costs)…”

• “Cut agriculture subsidies and modernize military and civil service retirement systems, while reforming student loan programs…”

• “Ensure sustainable solvency for the next 75 years while reducing poverty among seniors. Reform Social Security for its own sake, and not for deficit reduction.”

• “Reform the budget process to ensure the debt remains on a stable path, spending stays under control, inflation is measured accurately, and taxpayer dollars go where they belong.”

I know, we all agree with most of the above. The problem is in the details and getting Congress to decide and act.

“… A sensible, realistic plan requires shared sacrifice – and Washington must lead the way and tighten its belt…”

I guess we should all be calling and writing our elected members of Congress to let them know where we agree or disagree with the commission report.

Did you hear, “If you are in a hole (and want out), the first thing to do is STOP DIGGING.”

• John Bullis is a certified public accountant, personal financial specialist and certified senior adviser serving Carson City for 45 years. He is founder emeritus of Bullis and Company CPAs, LLC.