New York Times Letter to the Editor: Seeking Lessons From the Fiscal Crisis

October 15, 2013

To the Editor:

Re “Changing the Debt-Ceiling Game” (Op-Ed, Oct. 15):

David McAdams is absolutely correct that debt-ceiling deadline paralysis will just be repeated if we don’t come up with incentives for bipartisan problem-solving.

Last month, I introduced legislation similar to his suggested solution. My plan, endorsed by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, former co-chairmen of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, provides for automatic debt-ceiling adjustments when debt is decreasing as a share of gross domestic product. It further forces action to manage debt when it is increasing as a share of the economy. And, if the budget process proves inadequate, my plan gives every member, not just leadership, the opportunity to bring debt reduction ideas to the floor for action.

As Professor McAdams states, the only way forward for our country is to “give up the ability to conduct last-minute brinkmanship.” The American people expect reasonable solutions, not self-imposed crises.

SCOTT PETERSWashington, Oct. 15, 2013

The writer, a Democratic member of Congress, represents the 52nd District of California.

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