The debt reduction mandated in save-go will happen automatically if members of Congress fail to act. They will have a stark choice: Either achieve the pre-set savings targets or allow the tough, automatic cuts. We believe that the threat posed by this sword of Damocles will compel congressional action.
The president, congressional leaders and the Senate’s “Gang of Six” have proposed that budget process mechanisms to mandate future deficit reduction be part of broader actions to bring America’s dangerous national debt under control. We believe save-go is a particularly well-designed mechanism because it includes both the spending and revenue sides of the budget, and does not exempt major entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. While spending reductions must be the predominant element in deficit reduction, revenue must also be part of the solution and the enforcement mechanism. Reliance on spending caps alone, especially caps that fail to recognize the impact of a rapidly aging population on growth in entitlement spending, will not lead to bipartisan support or credible enforcement. Nor will a mechanism that exempts the major drivers of rising government spending.