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EconomicPolicyInstitute November 29, 2010

Investing in America’s Economy, a new budget blueprint released November 29 by Demos, the Economic Policy Institute, and The Century Foundation, is being widely recognized for offering an alternative to the preliminary proposal issued earlier this month by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

While National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility co-chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles proposed a wide range of cuts that would increase the burden on working families, Investing in America’s Economy prioritizes a strong economic recovery and recognizes that widespread job creation and robust economic growth are essential to successful deficit reduction.

Media coverage of the plan includes:

The New York Times’ Jackie Calmes reported that Investing in America’s Economy “stabilizes debt as a share of the economy without demanding draconian cuts to national investments or vital safety net programs.”

–Nobel laureate Paul Krugman wrote in his New York Times blog that the proposal “explode(s) the myth that there is no alternative to the Bowles-Simpson-type regressive proposal. A lot of inside-the-Beltway types have been trying to sell the notion that a severely weakened social safety net is the only possibility; it isn’t.”

The Wall Street Journal’s David Wessel highlighted the core components of the proposal in his blog. “Suddenly, it seems, the conversation inside the Beltway has shifted from whether to attack the deficit to how to conquer it,” Wessel wrote.

–Ezra Klein wrote in his blog in The Washington Post, “Today’s big release will establish the liberal pole in the fiscal-responsibility debate.”

–Jonathan Cohen, in a New Republic blog noted that this new budget blueprint helps include all sides of the political spectrum in the deficit discussion. “The problem with the budget conversation so far is that it’s been a conversation between the center and the right. The left has been ignored,” it said. “That’s no way to reach agreement politically and, more important, that’s no way to design policy.” The blog noted the addition of progressive voices to the deficit discussion was “absolutely essential. In fact they are what make the whole deficit reduction conversation worth having.”

–Matt Yglesias of ThinkProgress wrote that the new proposal “explicitly (situates) the ‘budget’ problem in a broader economic context” to address the need to increase growth and decrease unemployment, while avoiding policies that would simply shift costs from the federal government to individual families. Such “cost shifting” policies, Yglesias wrote, “may improve the government’s balance sheet but may worsen the condition of many Americans, leaving the economy no better off.”

The Atlantic highlighted Investing in America’s Economy as a deficit reduction proposal that is “really worth your attention.” Atlantic’s Derek Thompson wrote that “the debate on fixing the budget has, until now, been fought mostly on conservatives’ and moderates’ turf.”

For more information on Investing in America’s Economy, visit OurFiscalSecurity.org, or the blueprint’s page on EPI.org.

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