• Boost national savings to spur domestic investment and economic growth.
• Simplify the budget process to place greater emphasis on long-term fiscal issues.
The first thing the commission would do is leave Washington and discuss reform options with Americans. That should help it avoid the temptation to hatch some scheme behind closed committee-room doors. Plus, the members would surely find, as the Heritage Foundation has with our ongoing Fiscal Wake-Up Tour, a real desire out there to fix entitlement programs.
Once it reports to Congress, lawmakers would be required to hold a simple up-or-down vote on each of its recommendations. This should help break the legislative logjam. Just as base-closing commissions enabled lawmakers to shutter obsolete military bases (even those in their own districts or states), a SAFE Commission would help lawmakers make necessary changes without being accused of "destroying" entitlement programs.
Many of us over 50 realize that our generation, however inadvertently, created the coming entitlement crisis, and we understand it's up to us to solve it. AARP will be a welcome ally -- if we can believe their ads. Establishing a SAFE Commission should help us find out.