Debt panel chiefs grade Obama's plan

By Ben Rooney, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Two key players in the debate over how to get the nation's fiscal act together have offered their support for President Obama's plan to bring down deficits.

"I think he's come out with a solid, responsible plan," said Erskine Bowles, co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. "While it doesn't have as much deficit reduction as quickly as we do, he does get to $4 trillion worth of deficit reduction."

Bowles and his fellow co-chairman, Alan Simpson, met with Obama at the White House on Thursday.

In December, their bipartisan commission, which Obama ordered up last year, outlined a wide range of controversial spending cuts and tax changes that would slash $4 trillion in deficits over the next 10 years.

And Obama unveiled his long-awaited deficit reduction plan Wednesday, calling for a mix of spending reductions and tax hikes. The plan incorporates some of the recommendations made by the bipartisan commission in December. Obama set a debt-reduction target of $4 trillion over 12 years.

Obama, who had previously not fully embraced the Bowles-Simpson plan, acknowledged that his outline borrowed heavily from the commission's recommendations.

"Very frankly, it is the framework that they developed that help to shaped my thinking on these issues," Obama said.

In announcing his plan on Wednesday, Obama said Vice President Joe Biden would begin meeting with legislators from both parties in early May with the aim of forging agreement on a deficit reduction plan by the end of June.

Paul Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House budget committee, released a deficit reduction plan last week, which aims to cut the debt by $4.4 trillion over the next decade while radically overhauling Medicare and Medicaid and dropping the top personal and corporate tax rate to 25%.

Bowles said he hopes that Congress can set aside partisan issues and work together to merge the plans quickly, "and come up with a legislative language plan that we can vote on, act on, and we can do something serious about taking down this deficit." To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,810.06 91.06 0.51%
Nasdaq 4,712.97 11.10 0.24%
S&P 500 2,063.50 10.75 0.52%
Treasuries 2.32 -0.02 -0.86%
Data as of 1:50pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 17.12 0.12 0.71%
Kinder Morgan Inc 39.75 -0.17 -0.43%
Apple Inc 116.47 0.16 0.14%
Intel Corp 35.59 -0.36 -1.00%
Microsoft Corp 47.98 -0.72 -1.48%
Data as of Nov 21

Sections

This arrangement, announced Friday, illustrates how the lines have blurred between traditional TV networks and newfangled options like Netflix. More

The Obama administration is touting that its immigration action will boost wages. But the hike amounts to only $170 a year by 2024. More

Obama doesn't have the authority to create a startup visa, but part of his reform announcement could include a workaround for entrepreneurs: 'parole status.' More

Nearly half of all Americans say there's a chance they'll have to work during a holiday between Thanksgiving and New Year's, according to a new poll. And one in four say they'll have to work whether they want to or not. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.