We're in search of Senators and House members with the courage to pass legislation like Simpson-Bowles. The era of runaway deficits must end.

David Brooks

"The Republican growth agenda — tax cuts and nothing else — is stupefyingly boring, fiscally irresponsible and politically impossible. Gigantic tax cuts — if they were affordable — might boost overall growth, but they would do nothing to address the structural problems that are causing a working-class crisis."

David Brooks, Pundit Under Protest, New York Times (June 13, 2011)

Jonathan Rauch

"If a government spends $1.5 trillion but collects only $1.2 trillion in taxes, it offers benefits to the public at a 20 percent discount. And when you offer benefits at a discount, the public demands more of them. In turning modern conservatism into the First Evangelical Church of No Taxes Ever, right-wingers have convinced themselves that they're constraining the supply of government benefits, when they're actually stoking the demand for them."

Jonathan Rauch, Demosclerosis

President Dwight D. Eisenhower

"So, whether we are ready to face the job this minute or any other time, the fact is there must be balanced budgets before we are again on a safe and sound system in our economy. That means, to my mind, that we cannot afford to reduce taxes, reduce income, until we have in sight a program of expenditures that shows that the factors of income and of outgo will be balanced. Now that is just to my mind sheer necessity. I have as much reason as anyone else to deplore high taxes. I certainly am going to work with every bit of energy I have towards their reduction."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, News Conference (1953)

Jonathan Rauch

"The size of government is the great ideological divide in American politics. Liberals want government to do more, conservatives want it to do less. But big versus small is not, in itself, the best place to draw a distinction. The more important question is not how big government is, but how flexible."

Jonathan Rauch, Demosclerosis

Sen. Barry Goldwater

"If we reduce taxes before firm, disciplined decisions are made about expenditures, we will court deficit spending and the inflationary effects that will inevitably follow."

-Sen. Barry Goldwater

Robert Bixby

"Exacerbating our problems is the continual breakdown of the budget process to the point where it now exists in name only. Only six times since 1974 has a budget resolution been passed on time; not one of them has been in the last 10 years. In fact, in no year since 2009 has a concurrent budget resolution been adopted at all. The appropriations process is equally dysfunctional. Since 2001, fewer than one in twelve appropriations bills have been passed on time, and none of those have been in the last three fiscal years. Budget process reform is not a panacea for the monumental fiscal challenges we face as a nation, nor is it a substitute for making real choices on taxes and spending. But returning to a regular budget process that refocuses our attention on long­term planning would help facilitate a discussion about how best to address these challenges."

Robert Bixby, Testimony Before House Rules Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process