Chart: Budget Resolution Claiming to Be Simpson-Bowles Comes Up Very Short

Calling It Simpson-Bowles Doesn’t Make It Simpson-Bowles

The budget resolution offered by Reps. Jim Cooper (D-TN) and Steven LaTourette (R-OH) this week is not equivalent to the “Bowles-Simpson” plan, despite their claims that it is just that. Reps. Cooper and LaTourette proposed this resolution as an alternative to the budget plan put forth by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), and they say it is based on the recommendations of Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, the co-chairs of the president’s fiscal commission.

But in fact, the Cooper-LaTourette proposal differs markedly from the actual plan offered by Simpson and Bowles in a variety of ways. Most strikingly, the Cooper-LaTourette proposal comes up dramatically short on revenue. Whereas Simpson-Bowles called for revenues to surpass 20 percent of gross domestic product—the broadest measure of economic activity—by the end of the decade, on their way to 21 percent by 2025, Cooper-LaTourette’s plan would set revenues well below that level. Overall, Cooper-LaTourette’s revenue levels are nearly $1 trillion below those of Simpson-Bowles.

Michael Linden is the Director for Tax and Budget Policy at the Center for American Progress.