Will Obama, Democrats get behind the Fiscal Commission they previously ignored? 

Last year, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, co-chairs of President Obama's Fiscal Commission, released (PDF) a deficit reduction proposal that received a lot of publicity, but ultimately little support from either party. Now that House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has released his own plan, will Obama and Democrats respond by embracing Bowles-Simpson?

The ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., made waves today at an appearance at the Center for American Progress, by seeming to embrace Bowles-Simpson, adding to speculation that Obama would do the same in Wednesday's budget speech. But a closer look at the writeup by TPM's David Kurtz suggests that Democrats are more likely to endorse the general approach of Simpson-Bowles, to both raise taxes and cut spending, then specific ideas.  The Bowles-Simpson proposal included measures to cut Social Security benefits and extend the retirement age -- something that has traditionally been a non-starter for liberals.

"I think that the Bowles-Simpson blueprint provides enough running room for the President," TPM quoted Van Hollen as saying. "The basic approach of Bowles-Simpson, which is to look at both sides of the deficit equation, that is revenue and spending ... I believe does provide, in that sense, an important starting point."

Ever since Ryan came out with his plan, Van Hollen and Obama have emphasized the need for a "balanced approach" and "shared sacrifice." What that means in practice is higher taxes and more spending than the Ryan proposal. It's unlikely that either Van Hollen or Obama would go as far as Bowles-Simpson plan on the spending side, meaning that if they were to achieve comparable savings, they're going to have to come up with additional tax hikes.

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