My View: David Stockman and Andy Stern

Today, CRFB board member and former budget director for Ronald Reagan, David Stockman, along with the former head of SEIU, Andy Stern, wrote an op-ed for CNN  entitled: "If even we can agree on a big budget plan, so can Congress." Pointing to their varied backgrounds, the two authors promote a "Go big" approach, calling for $4 trillion in deficit reduction that includes both spending cuts and revenue measures. They argue that our fiscal challenges are so urgent that, even given their wide philosophical differences, they can agree that everything must be on the table.

They write:

We don't agree often. In fact, for most of our adult lives, we have worked on opposite ends of the political spectrum. One of us headed the fastest-growing union in North America, the other served as budget director for arguably the most important Republican president in the modern era, Ronald Reagan. But national crises make for strange bedfellows.

That's why we are asking Democrats and Republicans to put aside their partisan interests to secure America's future by passing a deficit reduction plan of at least $4 trillion that includes both spending cuts and new revenues.

Our debt crisis is so severe, so obvious, and the middle ground seemingly so apparent, even Odd Couple characters Oscar Madison and Felix Unger could agree on a solution. So why can't Congress and the president? If we can do it, so can they....

A deal can happen only if both sides put everything on the table. That means Democrats have to agree to entitlement reform and cuts to domestic programs, and Republicans have to accept more revenue and defense cuts.

Odd couples, strange bedfellows, whatever the terminology, agreeing on budget issues should not be this difficult. The two of us have come together despite our wide philosophical differences because we agree on one fundamental point: The fiscal crisis is so urgent that everything must be on the table. We need to act now. If the president and Congress embrace that principle, we can finally make some progress in getting our fiscal house in order and our national economy back on track.

Click here to read the full CNN op-ed.

"My Views" are works published by members of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, but they do not necessarily reflect the views of all members of the committee.