MY VIEW: Erskine Bowles March 30 2012

Despite all the political gridlock and other developments that have people worried about our fiscal future, Fiscal Commission co-chair Erskine Bowles sees reason to be optimistic. In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, he said that the result of last year's debt ceiling brinkmanship and the resulting law (the Budget Control Act), "deficit reduction now has the upper hand."

This Budget Control Act of 2011 called for automatic spending cuts of $1.2 trillion over the next decade if the congressional "super committee" failed to reach an agreement, as it did fail. The automatic spending cuts, together with the looming expiration of the Bush tax cuts on Jan. 1, 2013, will finally force Congress and the administration to put up or shut up on deficit spending.

While letting all $3.9 trillion in the Bush tax cuts expire and implementing mindless across-the-board cuts is surely not the smart way to solve our long-term fiscal problems, that threat should be enough to force across the finish line a grand bargain similar to the one our commission proposed.

He concludes with hopefulness, after meeting with President Obama, that the President and Congressional leaders will be able to find their way by the end of the year.

Click here to read the full 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.