Simpson and Bowles Are Back!

What a time it was.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

As I noted last week, one unfortunate aspect of the current political crisis in Washington is that the country’s best-financed purveyors of centrist economic policy wisdom at Fix the Debt are essentially egging on hostage tactics by urging politicians to take advantage of this crisis to engineer a “grand bargain” on fiscal policy.

Today they’re stepping that campaign up with a new ad:

The idea of focusing on long-term problems is nice, though as Larry Summers points out in a great new column, this isn’t even a very good choice of a long-term problem to focus on. But I would also add even though talking about the long term sounds high-minded and high-status, we actually have an acute emergency situation here. It would be better to address that situation—raise the debt ceiling, reopen the government—and then continue the necessarily more difficult debate about long-term policy separately.