Friday, January 22, 2010

A Presidential Commission to Study the Debt

In all the hubbub on Wednesday of the Scott Brown victory in Massachussets, buried a bit in the news was a report on an agreement between Congressional leadership the White House to appoint an 18 member presidential commission to the national debt.
Faced with growing alarm over the nation's soaring debt, the White House and congressional Democrats tentatively agreed Tuesday to create an independent budget commission and to put its recommendations for fiscal solvency to a vote in Congress by the end of this year.

Under the agreement, President Obama would issue an executive order to create an 18-member panel that would be granted broad authority to propose changes in the tax code and in the massive federal entitlement programs -- including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security -- that threaten to drive the nation's debt to levels not seen since World War II.

The accord comes a week before Obama is scheduled to deliver his first State of the Union address to a nation increasingly concerned about his stewardship of the economy and the federal budget. After a year in which he advocated spending hundreds of billions of dollars on a huge economic stimulus package and a far-reaching overhaul of the health-care system, Obama has pledged to redouble his effort to rein in record budget deficits even as he has come under withering Republican attack.
I am a bit confused, Congress controls the purse strings of the nation and along with the President has authorized somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple of trillion dollars of new spending, burdening the debt even further.

Ironically, on the same day as this debt commission deal was announced, those very same Congressional Democrats proposed a $1.9 TRILLION increase in the debt limit.

I don't know about the rest of the country, but the idea of a presidential commission appointed by a president who has done more to trash the nation's debt standing makes me as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. This commission will give ideas and recommendations. I don't have a degree in macro economics, but I do have a family, a personal budget and a fair amount of debt as well. The answer to lowering the debt is to not spend more than you bring in as revenue, put some of the revenue you have coming in toward paying down you debt.

I'm sorry, but it isn't that complicated a process, it is a process that the average American faces everyday. You don't need 18 economists to tell the President that, he can just appoint 18 average Americans. But then, "average Americans" is a concept that the current administration can understand.

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