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Dear Congress, Shut Up and Vote on Bowles-Simpson

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In December 2010, the presidentially appointed "National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform" released a report entitled "The Moment of Truth," providing a road map to reduce deficits by $4 trillion over the next decade. The plan fell three committee votes short of receiving a congressional vote.

The "Bowles-Simpson" deficit reduction plan is more effective than either plan proposed by the House of Representatives and the Senate.

On a high level, the committee advised:

  1. discretionary spending cuts
  2. comprehensive tax reform
  3. health care cost containment
  4. mandatory savings
  5. Social Security reforms to ensure long-term solvency and reduce poverty
  6. process changes

The "Bowles-Simpson" plan would reduce the deficit more than Republican John Boehner's plan, floated in the House of Representatives, or Democrat Harry Reid's plan proposed in the Senate. Bowles-Simpson would also achieve the $4 trillion in cuts necessary to maintain the U.S. AAA debt rating, according to Standard and Poor's.

And perhaps most importantly, the unpopular changes proposed in the commission's plan were suggested by former politicians not seeking re-election. This is the equivalent of a corporation enacting changes recommended by an outside consultancy -- some employees might not like the recommendations, but the recommendations are likely good for the company (or in this case, the nation).

As an added bonus, the American public (and their elected representatives) has had seven months to review these proposals -- no surprises here. Can we really say the same for 11th hour legislation that might be enacted less than a week ahead of an Aug. 2 debt-ceiling deadline?

For these reasons, the commission's recommendations should be introduced as a bill and voted upon. It might be the easiest way to end a game of political chicken and it would help restore faith in our politicians (even if some of the recommendations are unpopular).

To read a PDF version of "The Moment of Truth," click here -- or, to share your opinion on this matter with your congressperson(s), click here.

-- Written by John DeFeo in New York City

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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