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President Signs Executive Order Instituting Commission on Fiscal Responsibility

President Obama has appointed former Republican Senator Alan Simpson and former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles to co-chair a new national debt commission that seeks to begin cutting the country's burgeoning deficits by 2015. The 18-member panel will include eight Republicans. Obama appeared less than confident about the usefulness of the commission, saying they are "taking on the impossible".

This commission is indeed an exercise in futility. The panel has zero legal authority and can only render recommendations that will likely entail raising taxes and slashing Medicare and Social Security. The appointment of the eight Republicans will likely be seen as an effort by the President to seek bipartisan cover.

Conservative critics have pointed out that much of this year's projected $1.6 trillion deficit could be averted by simply aborting the failed $787 billion stimulus package, two-thirds of which is still unspent and saving the $500 billion in recently repaid TARP funds. This could finance massive tax cuts that would serve as a genuine effort to stimulate job creation and increase overall revenues.


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Comments (36)

Why 2015? Maybe cutting de... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Why 2015? Maybe cutting deficits take a back seat to enacting Obama's social utopia.

"...to do good work..."... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

"...to do good work..."

"...do something for a change..."

That Steve. He's such a kidder.

Let's see, 400 billion of t... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Let's see, 400 billion of the stimulus bill left over, 400 billion the banks paid back, I know! Pay down the debt. Done. But know. What Obama wants is to playcate the left fools to think he is doing something about it. Apparently, Steve, our main fool, fell right into it. ww

Once again Obama shows he h... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Once again Obama shows he has no ability nor the intelligence to lead.

If he knew what to do about the deficit, or was actually serious about it, he'd do something. Instead, we have yet another commission to come up with "solutions" that may take effect years down the line.

But, hey, it sounds good and will play well with the MSM.

"How can the Party of Hope ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"How can the Party of Hope and Change survive if they have to actually step up to the plate, stop whining and do something for a change?"

FIFY Stevie. Just WHAT has YOUR party done so far? Besides waste over $800 BILLION and attempt to spend another $500 BILLION that was supposed to be used to repay TARP loans.

Let's see all those ACCOMPLISHMENTS Stevie.

Steve Green: "How can the P... (Below threshold)
Drago:

Steve Green: "How can the Party of No survive if they have to actually step up to the plate, stop whining and do something for a change?"

Gee, I don't know.

Lets ask Senator Cloakley, Gov Corzine and Gov Deeds for their opinion on the "party of no".

Go ahead Steve. Ask them.

(Also, ask them if they think the Himalayan glaciers are melting and if so, (like you), ask them why).

Result = (Intakes - Outlays... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Result = (Intakes - Outlays > 0) ? Good : Bad;

Apparently, Obama thinks it requires an entire commission to solve the above.

Yo, Stevie!Tell us... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Yo, Stevie!

Tell us, do you think this nonsensical commission will actually try to RESTRAIN Obama's spending, or just rubberstamp the trillion-dollar annual deficits? Can't you just hear the press conference now?

"We tried and tried - but we were only able to get the annual deficit down by $5 to $10 billion! But really, it's a LOT down compared to the $1.4 trillion we were looking at!"

So the debt keeps rising - and rising - and Obama wastes money on crap like weatherization.

Obama's federal government can weatherize your home for only $57,362 each

I'm sure they're using only PREMIUM grade duct-tape to put plastic over the windows.

How's the prospect of shovelling out more and more of your paycheck for pretty much nothing looking to ya, bud?

bryanD........relevant as u... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

bryanD........relevant as usual.

Steve, have you asked them ... (Below threshold)
Drago:

Steve, have you asked them yet?

Seriously, go ask them.

What?

They lost?

To members of the party of no?

How can that be?

You assured us the Repub's would pay a price at the polls for opposing the insane policies of your man-god.

What?

Scott Brown specifically said he would be the 41st vote to stop obama-care? And he won? In Massachusetts? The seat that Ted Kennedy occupied since paleolithic times?

How can that be?

Why, it almost causes one to ponder whether or not you really know what you're talking about.

(time to run and get more talking points from TPM and Media Matters there li'l one).

Do hurry back though, ya hear?

Hilarious!Steve Gr... (Below threshold)
Drago:

Hilarious!

Steve Green: "The Tea Party will gain strength from GOP inaction, and I wouldn't be surprised if the GOPers were stupid enough to do what you suggest, Lawson, and do nothing."

Wow.

So, let me get this straight.

obambi puts 8 repubs and 8 dems on a commission with no power and no leverage to enact or execute any policy. They will simply make recommendations.

But Stevie, you guys told us a year ago that you had it all figured out. That your policies were the answer to everything.

40 Republicans (prior to Scott Brown's election) had no power to filibuster.

And now, still with 59 senators and supermajority in the house and the white house, you NEED 8 repubs on a meaningless commision with no power to "do good work that will benefit our country".

Wow.

If it was so clear, and such "good work" for our country, why didn't you guys pass it all when they had unstoppable majorities?

Why Steve, why?

And why aren't the glaciers receding?

Maybe there are too many buried "corpse-men" gumming up the glaciers pathway!

See what I did there? I sub-referenced obambi's moronic remark!

BTW, did you hear about bidens latest profundity yesterday? He referred to this century as the "20th century"!!! genius, right?

This commission will only b... (Below threshold)
James H:

This commission will only be effective if Obama is willing to put his entire administration behind its findings. Meaning that, for example, if the commission calls for massive cuts to popular programs, the Obama administration forces those cuts through, with Republican help if necessary.

Otherwise, this blue-ribbon panel will produce recommendations that are quite sensible, but politically unachievable, and its report will gather dust somewhere.

James, you are correct that... (Below threshold)
Drago:

James, you are correct that for a commissions recommendations to be enacted it would take the full force of the administration backing it.

However, and not to be too condescending, I would humbly suggest that the very fact that obambi, with massive majorities, even wants such a commission is proof positive that he does not have the will or desire to back any commission recommendations.

He simply needs a few R's (who will be arm-twisted like no tomorrow for agreeing to a "consensus" report) that will undoubtedly mirror the tax-raising desires of the left.

The required "assumptions" for the committee to use will force the commission to arrive at only those "answers to the problems" that the dems want.

We've seen this play before.

Lest we forget, it is Congr... (Below threshold)
Deke:

Lest we forget, it is Congress who controlls the purse strings and if ANY of you think that group of gutless wonders would EVER do anything to effect their phoney baloney jobs..can I get a harrumph, then I have some ocean front property in Arizona I would love to sell you.

Were going to allow ppl to opt out of Social Security....Screaming heard from the Senior Lobby...no were not.

Were going to cut spending here or there...scream by this or that lobby...no were not.

Our Founders set up a represenative republic so that ppl would make informed decions based on principals, not decions trying to please the most ppl so they could get re-elected; unfort. with the current prof. political class that is not going to happen.

This "commission" set up by Obama has no relevance what so ever, it's just an attempt by Obama to show he "cares" and gives syncophants like Steve "Facist" Green and Bryan "Suck my male genatalia" D a forum to irritate conservatives, I mean come on if there were video showing Obama molesting children they would defend him and claim racism, just like several would have done with Bush and his mistakes.

"How can the Party of No su... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

"How can the Party of No survive if they have to actually step up to the plate, stop whining and do something for a change?"

Steve,
At this point in time your statement is a distraction just as much as Obama's commission is a distraction. If the Republicans can make the gains in Congress both you and I hope they make this November, well, feel free to ask away.

I dunno Steve, with a bare ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

I dunno Steve, with a bare majority (1 seat) in the Senate, they did pretty well in moving legislation through under Chimpy McBushHitler...

However, and not t... (Below threshold)
James H:
However, and not to be too condescending, I would humbly suggest that the very fact that obambi, with massive majorities, even wants such a commission is proof positive that he does not have the will or desire to back any commission recommendations.

These commissions have a mixed history. They're generally composed of wise old men and women who are very intelligent and can recommend politically unpopular solutions because they no longer hold office. Moreover, these greybeards/statesmen often weren't havey on the partisanship anyway.

I've poked on on commissions' work often enough, and they usually produce incredibly detailed reports that offer very good solutions to the problems they're created to solve ... and then those solutions get ignored in all but a few cases.

The delicious irony is that every so often, a commission (i.e. the Hart-Rudman commission) will offer recommendations that Washington promptly ignores ... and then the commission's worst-case scenario comes to pass, and everybody digs out the report again!

I wouldn't be surprised to see something similar happen here. I don't expect the president (of either party) or Congress (of either party) to seriously address deficit reduction for quite some time. Neither Republicans nor Democrats seem willing to take the needed political risks. Look for serious efforts at deficit reduction only when China decides it won't purchase US Treasuries anymore.

Another dictorial directive... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

Another dictorial directive from our elected dictator and tyrant

The panel has zero... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
The panel has zero legal authority and can only render recommendations that will likely entail raising taxes and slashing Medicare and Social Security.

I keep hearing about slashing Social Security, but there are more than the obvious problems with doing so.

First, more money is paid into the Social Security trust fund than is being paid out. That surplus has existed for most of the last 40 years and is expected to continue until around 2016. In other words, the money being collected from everybody's paycheck is being used to bail out the federal government and the surplus (IOUs) now amounts to over 2 trillion dollars. Cutting benefits before paying back the surplus means the government is admitting the system has been a lie from the start. Can it then continue to collect payroll taxes to support a system its admitting is a lie? Any private party that would try this would have a cell adjoining Bernie Madoff.

Second, the democrats and Obama in particular opposed Bush in his effort to reform Social Security. At the time democrats said there was no need to do so. Democrats will now be forced to publicly admit Bush was right at least in saying that Social Security needed to be reformed.

Third, any attempt to cut benefits for people already or close to retirement will result in political suicide given reasons 1 and 2 and the fact that old people vote and like all voters, they vote their pocket book first. Having a commission give political cover won't work because old folks will vote to throw all the bums out in place for politicians who will restore their benefits.

Forth, women collect more than 80 cents of every dollar paid into Social Security due to several factors such as the bend points that give higher wage earners (mostly men) credit for only 15 cents of every dollar they earn. Women live longer so there are more of them drawing at any given time and they collect longer. Also, when their husband dies they get part of his benefits for as long as they live. When women realize that any cuts to Social Security disproportionately targets them it won't be just old people calling for the heads of politicians.

Five, there are solutions that fix Social Security that don't require cuts to benefits. Being the current system already includes bend points that limits the credit of higher wage earners to just 15%, there's no reason to maintain a cap on earnings subject to Social Security withholding. That alone would extend the time when Social Security was paying out more than it takes in to around 2025. Time enough for the economy to recover and other solutions to be found.

Six, Social Security is not any entitlement program, it's a government run retirement program that people pay into during their working lives. Politicians who don't understand that will soon be looking for work themselves.

However, and not t... (Below threshold)
James H:
However, and not to be too condescending, I would humbly suggest that the very fact that obambi, with massive majorities, even wants such a commission is proof positive that he does not have the will or desire to back any commission recommendations.

I didn't really address the above very well before. Let me try again.

Will Rogers once said, "I'm not a member of any organized party. I'm a Democrat." I expect that holds true today, with individual Democrats putting more emphasis on their individual pet issues than on the party's agenda as a whole.

Which leads to the current situation with majorities. Just because you can get Senator Healthcare on board for the healthcare bill doesn't mean Senator Global Warming is going to go along with it. And Senator Public Housing doesn't necessarily care about either issue.

With the Senate as gridlocked as it is, I'm at least mildly surprised we haven't seen a Gang of 6 (or 8, or 12) step up an seize de facto control of the chamber through the power of the swing vote ...

s green "Republicans... (Below threshold)
Marc:

s green "Republicans cower in fear of actually having to step up to the plate and do something other than filibuster and say no."

I musta missed it, just when was this rethuglian led filibuster green?

It also must not have been on CSPN.

For the record nitwit there hasn't been any type of filibuster since 2003 and it's hardly surprising it was "led" by Dingy Harry:

Sen. Dingy Harry (Los Wages) spoke for eight and a half hours on the the right to filibuster a president's (Bush's) judicial nominees.

Or put another way, demturds being the Party of No, and were for all 8 years of Bush.

Pssst, in other filibuster history: In 1981, Sen. William Proxmire, D-Wis., was furious with the rising national debt ceiling, and spoke for 16 hours, 12 minutes.

Gee, too damn bad someone, anyone, regardless of "D" or "R" behind their name, doesn't have the friggin' nut sack to do the same.

I'll second Marc's last bit... (Below threshold)
James H:

I'll second Marc's last bit. My hugest problem with the filibuster is not the filibuster itself, but rather its frequent use and the fact that it involves very little actual filibustering.

Old way:

"We are going to pass this legislation ... "

"Filibuster!"

"Oh, crap, it's Strom Thurmond. Get the cots. This is gonna be a while."

New way:

"We are going -- "

"Filibuster!"

"to pass -- "

"Filibuster!"

"Oh, crap. [pause] Moving to the next item of business ... "

The filibuster no longer carries a real political cost for the senators (Republican OR Democratic) who employ it.

Just another way for Obama ... (Below threshold)
hermie:

Just another way for Obama to 'vote Present'.

A 'commission' that if there was a Real leader in the White House, wouldn't even be proposed and he would've had a direction to go with specific plans. But he simply can't lead, or make a decision. He is in perpetual campaign mode, as long as he can bring out those like Steve Green and BryanD to continue to mindlessly support anything he says and does.

It's first and 1 to go... no wait...it's actually time for the coin toss, and he still says 'punt'.

hermie "It's first an... (Below threshold)
Marc:

hermie "It's first and 1 to go... no wait...it's actually time for the coin toss, and he still says 'punt'."

I couldn't agree more. The bottomline:

A bunch of dirtbag pols from the WH on down the ladder lack the guts, political will if you will, to make ANY decision other than to PUNT.

Specifically in this case The One has punted rather than take a stand either way. Chickenshit describes it precisely.

Political cover is all that it is, this so called commission if it does it's job correctly will recommend massive spending cuts across the board and .... wait.... 4.... IT.

Taxes being raised across the board.

AND because it comes from a "commission" The One can point to it and say "SEE, I kept MY promise, it's that damnable commission's fault."

P.S. and if this commission even hints at using recovered TARP funds as mandated by law, or to use not yet spent stimulus funds to pay down the national debt, IT WILL BE SEPT UNDER TE CARPET.

P.P.S. Anyone notice our largest debt holder China, is no longer:

China sold a record amount of its US Treasury holdings in December, ceding its place as the world's biggest foreign holder of US debt to Japan.

The Premier, Wen Jiabao, told reporters: "We have made a huge amount of loans to the United States. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I'm a little bit worried.

I don't know who is on the ... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

I don't know who is on the commission, but I assume all of the republicans will be of the pure-bread Simpson RINO variety. This is a transparent CYA fraud on the part of Hussein. The "commission" will recommend hefty tax increases on the evil, greedy WEALTHY of course, while lamenting the "fact" that taxes will have to be raised on ALL working Americans! Hussein will weep a few well placed crocodile tears at the thought of having to go back on his no tax increases for anyone under 250,000/yr lie, then do what he has wanted all along--raise taxes on everybody with a job!! Naturally he'll blame this action on the COMMISSION, absolving himself COMPLETELY from any responsibility!! SUCKERS!!!

Anybody know how much of a ... (Below threshold)

Anybody know how much of a budget he's giving the commission? 40, 50 billion?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha er, um... (Below threshold)
914:

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha er, um hrmph, ha ha ha ha ha

but I assume all o... (Below threshold)
James H:
but I assume all of the republicans will be of the pure-bread Simpson RINO variety.

Multigrain or whole wheat?

s green "The Republic... (Below threshold)
Marc:

s green "The Republicans on the commission will be picked by GOP congressional leaders, not Obama."

So waddaya saying the dems won't be picked be dem leaders?

Or will they?

Or you got nothing else but this childish BS?

s green "Marc lied."<... (Below threshold)
Marc:

s green "Marc lied."

Yeah, I "lied," in your pathetic little world. In the REAL world your miami herald article, as pointed out to you previously, is speculation by dems and a couple nonpartisan outfits... AND... it includes PREDICTIONS not something that has ALREADY happened.

s green, pathetic turd in The Extreme.

little stevie,<blockq... (Below threshold)
Kenny:

little stevie,

And when presented with evidence that he's wrong, Marc ducks and runs and lies some more.

pot....kettle...

Thats what you do all the time around here.


little stevie,marc... (Below threshold)
Kenny:

little stevie,

marc just misspoke, while your lies are proof of your hatred and bigotry...

s green "Marc. I noted... (Below threshold)
Marc:

s green "Marc. I noted that they will be selected by the GOP leadership."

Gee thanks for the clarification, although a waste of breath.

I only noted you, like always, cast stones at repubs yet ignore the obvious question I asked So waddaya saying the dems won't be picked be dem leaders? Or will they?

Just who will pick them numbnuts, and why would it matter?

As for this tripe "And Marc continues to lie, claiming the last filibuster was in 2003."

Sorry, civics isn't your strong suit [as if any suit is] the nitwit Shelby didn't filibuster anything, he may have held up a butt load of shit and for that he's an asshole among many.

I'd suggest you look up the definition of filibuster as opposed to a cloture vote. You might get a clue, but I have serious doubts

"President Signs Executi... (Below threshold)
914:

"President Signs Executive Order Instituting Commission on Fiscal Responsibility"


Next thing Y'know He'll start believing His own bullshit and singing a Kumbaya version of We are the World..Oh wait? The original was the watered down subversion.

"President Signs Executi... (Below threshold)
914:

"President Signs Executive Order Instituting Commission on Fiscal Responsibility"

I'll remember that the next time I pass someone a 12 trillion dollar bar tab!

An EXECUTIVE ORDER to form ... (Below threshold)
olsoljer:

An EXECUTIVE ORDER to form a COMMISSION?


How about a balanced budget, stop pork barrel spending, earmarks, and frivilous commissions, reducing government, going to a flat tax or national sales tax, stop sending our jobs overseas, provide incentives to small businesses, and growing a set of testicles?? (Sorry about that last one stevie).

I think the answer is on the way, starting in November, sending elected officials to DC who can exercise FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY.........and SARAH PALIN IN 2012

TAKING BACK AMERICA ONE ELECTION AT A TIME

ps send me my check for the recommendations jug head




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