Before the holidays, I wrote a column, "Don't Fear the Fiscal Reapers," arguing that a commission to address the long-term fiscal crisis need not be the disaster that many progressives fear -- an excuse for massive cuts in Social Security and Medicare -- but could actually do some good, including providing cover for the increases in revenues that we desperately need.
The article drew a letter to the editor from David Walker, the former U.S. comptroller general who now runs the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, one of the principal advocates for such a commission. It didn't seem that Walker was disagreeing with anything in the article, but was concerned that it "might be misinterpreted" to suggest that the Peterson Foundation places a priority on cuts in entitlement spending. To the contrary, Walker says, everything has to be "on the table," including "more revenues."
As I noted in the article, this is an important shift in tone and priority for the deficit-hawks, and further reason that progressives should not see calls for a commission as simply Social Security-bashing by another name. The full letter is below.