Third Way Statement on Congressional Passage of Economic Package & Payroll Tax Extension

February 17, 2012

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Today, both parties bucked the trend in Washington to come together behind a deal that’s the right thing for the American economy. This agreement will help prevent a stall in the still fragile recovery. We applaud the conferees for their willingness to work through contentious issues and make appropriate adjustments to reach a principled, bi-partisan compromise. We are glad a deal was reached, though we continue to believe that the package should have been fully paid for given growing national debt.

In particular, we are pleased to see that Congressional negotiators have agreed to adopt a version of our plan, first proposed in September 2010, to reform the financing of federal pensions. It would require new federal employees to make a higher contribution to their retirement, bringing federal pension policies closer in line with private sector pensions and helping pave the way for far more extensive entitlement reform.

Conventional wisdom holds that today’s agreement will represent the high water mark for achievement in Congress this year. We hope that instead that Congress will make it the first – not only- thing it gets done in 2012.

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