A post by Pat

After a whirlwind year churning out legislation thousands of scribbled crossed-out pasted-on pages deep, pillaging the treasury for trillions of dollars like barbaric hoardes, putting one-sixth of the economy through a meat grinder, and forfeiting our children’s inheritence to the Chinese because the smell of pork was so compelling, Congress and the White House are shying away from dealing with a matter of ‘complexity’—how to pay for all this. A sudden uneasy feeling is gripping a few stomachs in Washington. Someone has to start talking seriously about raising taxes and cutting spending.

Who should that be? Our elected officials sent to Washington to represent the people who seem to be a little angry right now? Noooo, better to pass that off to a bi-partisan commission…by executive order. The commission would spend several months studying “the problem” then make recommendations to Congress which would vote straight up or down on the recommendations after the 2010 mid-term elections.

Obama weighs creating commission to propose tax hikes, spending cuts

Documents obtained by CNN show that top advisers to the president have been privately weighing various versions of a commission, and opinions differ about how to structure it. Officials say that some inside the administration are pushing for a narrow mandate because it’s too complicated to tackle reform of the tax system and possible spending cuts to various popular programs such as Social Security and Medicare all at once.

Each major category of fiscal policy — Social Security, Medicare, discretionary spending, revenues — raises a complex and idiosyncratic array of policy problems and prescriptions,” according to the documents detailing some of the administration’s deliberations. “Achieving consensus on any one of these issues — much less all of them simultaneously — may be more than the political system can reasonably accommodate.”

While some critics charge a commission would be a cop-out because it would punt Congressional decisions to an outside panel, the senators pushing the plan believe the current system is broken and it will take a new mechanism to enact the wrenching changes that will be needed to get the budget back into balance.

“We are on a path to bankruptcy as a nation, and it’s that simple,” Gregg said last week as he and Conrad officially introduced legislation that now has 33 co-sponsors.

The panel would have several months in 2010 to study the problem and then vote after the midterm elections on a reform package that could include dramatic tax hikes and spending cuts. If 14 of the 18 members approve the package, giving it a bipartisan nod, it would force an automatic up-or-down vote in the House and Senate on whether to implement the recommendations.

Yes, it was that simple for them to put the nation on a path to bankruptcy and it is so politically unpleasant to fix it. A new mechanism? That’s going to be a new Congress and a new administration. But before then, we’ll see a few more mega bills tearing the guts out of the country. What the heck if the bi-partisan commission has a tad more complexity to deal with? Making history is so intoxicating.

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3 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. radargeek says:

    I think Sarah Palin should come out and say that she will stop this madness. She should say, “I will stop this crap sandwich spending, through may justice department, I will find out who fraudulently stole money from this crap sandwich, through may justice department who came up with these fraudulent districts. If you give me a conservative congress, I will stop this deathcare, I will stop this fraudulent climate change and I will bring to justice those who cooked the books on climate change, even if they once worked in government! Give me a congress, and I will have my justice department investigate these czars, these liberal congress members who caused the financial crisis in the first place. I will shake up the powers in Washington and put these frauds in jail! I will ensure any future spending would be to support business and our free trade. I will cut taxes, and get out of this government owned automaker and banking debacle. If GM and the automaker union fails they fail- so be it! That goes for banks! We as a country will not support failures! I will also use my justice department track down any fraudulent practices that caused these failures and put this burden on the American people. I will open up our energy reserves and we will drill in this country. I will support wind, solar, and other renewable energy, but we need to do this smarter than other countries demand from us. I will stop this climate change and the demands other countries put on us.
    I believe if she said this now, the people would get behind her and start voting these criminals out of congress. The time of REAL change will come when I change the way congress and the bureaucratic departments do business!”

  2. Alain41 says:

    Where to start? 1) Every Congessperson who signs on to a Commission is abdicating his/her responsibility that they were elected for, 2) Commissions without a starting point are hooey (advocates keep pointing to the military base closing commissions, but that’s a bad analogy because there was a starting point of closing military bases for those commissions whereas here there is no starting point of which programs which actions, etc), 3) notice that ‘document’ discusses “dramatic tax hikes and spending cuts” – why isn’t it tax decreases and dramatic spending cuts, 4) Commissions like these always have a foundation of conducting business in private to keep citizens in the dark – heck no, Republicans should insist on conducting business in the open, we citizens are owed that, the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia was not a Commission, 5) one of the few assets that Republicans have is-Democrats you hold all the leadership so lead, agreeing to a Commission throws that asset away, 6) spending cuts are always unspecified and never occur while tax hikes are real and do occur, 7) a Commission is not unbiased objectivity, 8) who selects the members, every Republican should be a Reagan fiscal conservative not a McCain/Graham/Collins fiscal squish such that each Republican says tax cuts & dramatic spending cuts, 9) failure of Commission has to be an option, when/if Commission is announced, Democrats will say failure is not an option – hooey, 10) agreeing to a Commission would somewhat nullify we voters response in 2010 to 2008 election, if elections have consequences then don’t nullify those consequences for the next election, 11) a spending cut will be defined as a program not increasing as much as projected, so make projected increase large to start with and then its easy to say you cut the program when you didn’t, 12) why should taxpayers pay for a Commission when we already pay for Congress with its large staff, 13) my money is not the gov’ts money, a Commission (vs Congress) implicit assumption is that my money is the gov’ts, whereas a gov’t program is the gov’ts not the citizens, guess which gets protected, 14) Sarah Palin does not hold office right now, she should be the no. one choice to represent Republicans on such a Commission, do you think that Republican leadership will even think, much less act to make that happen. I have more, but this was too long for you to read. Regards.

  3. Hey Tammy
    I have dropped a few tips here on comments from time to time and you have been real good about using the good ones.

    Why not add a tip box to your site?

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