'Fix the Debt' group sets up 'sequester scorecard' for lawmakers
The bipartisan group "Fix the Debt-New Hampshire" on Friday released a "Sequester Scorecard," which outlines the criteria needed in a sequester deal for New Hampshire members of Congress to earn an "A," "B," "C," "F" or "Incomplete."
Automatic spending cuts are slated to take effect on March 1 unless Congress and President Barack Obama act.
"Although this sequestration achieves deficit reduction, which we need, it is also too mindless, too sudden, and too destructive to the economy and fails to address the true drivers of our crippling debt," Fix the Debt said.
To earn an "A," Congress and the President "must agree to a comprehensive debt plan that replaces the sequester with at least $2.4 trillion of savings over the next decade, says Fix the Debt. It says the plan should combine targeted spending cuts, entitlement reforms and "comprehensive tax reform."
To earn a "B," policymakers must enact a budget deal that fully offsets the sequester permanently with more targeted measures primarily focused on health and retirement programs.
To earn a "C," policy makers must replace the sequester for one year, at a cost of $85 billion.
Policymakers would fail by "kicking the can" and delaying the sequester without any offsets.
An "incomplete" would be the grade if they let the sequester kick in.