The President's Deficit Reduction Plan

Here are the highlights via TPM:

_A debt failsafe that will be triggered if the debt-to-GDP ratio hasn’t stabilized, and begun to decline by mid-decade. This will include automatic spending cuts, and reductions in tax subsidies, but no tax increases. Social Security, Medicare, and low-income programs will be exempted. It will not tie the government’s hands in the event that an economic downturn requires fiscal stimulus.

_Cuts to discretionary spending, compatible with those in the Bowles-Simpson recommendations.

_Defense spending cuts, contingent on a thorough review conducted by Secretary Robert Gates, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Obama himself, and savings generated by winding down operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

_Strengthening the Independent Payment Advisory Board, created by the health care law to recommend and implement cost savings reforms to hold down the cost-per-Medicare-patient.

_Simplifying the formula for providing federal matching funds to states for Medicaid, which would automatically increase in the event of a recession

_This is a big one — Obama will propose using Medicare’s purchasing power to reduce prescription drug costs for seniors

_Reductions in agricultural subsidies

_Comprehensive tax reform, which reduces loopholes, simplifies the system, allows the Bush tax cuts for high-income earners to expire, and reduces the corporate tax rate.

Brian Beutler called this a “centrist” plan. I disagree. This is a center-left plan. It still provides for stimulus spending, defense is on the table, Big Ag is on the table, and tax cuts for the rich are on the table. That’s center-left.

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