DOA: Deficit Commission likely to reject chairmen’s plan to reduce national debt; Update: “Unacceptable,” says Pelosi

posted at 4:20 pm on November 10, 2010 by Allahpundit

We’re not serious. Yet.

Leaders of President Barack Obama’s bipartisan deficit commission on Wednesday proposed reducing the annual cost-of-living increases in Social Security, part of a bold plan to control $1 trillion-plus budget deficits…

As proposed, the plan by Chairman Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY) doesn’t look like it can win support from 14 of the commission’s 18 members to force a debate in Congress. Bowles is a Democrat and was former President Bill Clinton’s White House chief of staff.

Cuts to Social Security and Medicare are making some liberals on the panel recoil. And conservative Republicans are having difficulty with options on how to raise tax revenue. The plan also calls for cuts in farm subsidies, foreign aid and the Pentagon’s budget.

Lost in all the buzz this afternoon about the Bowles/Simpson blockbuster proposal (PDF here) is that this isn’t the Commission’s final recommendation, which is supposed to be presented to Obama in three weeks. This is merely Bowles’s and Simpson’s own plan, released publicly in hopes that the jolt from media coverage will pressure the rest of the Commission’s members into striking some sort of compromise before the deadline. It’s a conversation starter, in other words, except that the main subject of “conversation” thus far is how horrified the rest of the committee is by some of the recommendations:

“This is not a package that I could support,” Representative Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat, said during a break in a private meeting by the commission. She said any package able to win 14 votes on the panel would have to look “very different” from the options being discussed…

“We’re not going to have an up-or-down vote on this,” said Durbin. “There are proposals in there that are painful. I told them I said there are things in here which inspire me and other things which I hate like the devil hates holy water. I’m not going to vote for those things.”

Some Republicans also expressed skepticism that the report would survive in its current form. New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg called the plan a “starting point.” Representative Jeb Hensarling of Texas said “some of it I like, some of it disturbs me.”

Mind you, this “starting point” has arrived some nine months after Obama created the Commission, which he did only after a congressional attempt to create a different deficit commission died in the Senate. As for the specifics of the proposal, Tapper has a full rundown here although I recommend his post mainly for the apocalyptic quotes from hysterical progressives furious at the thought of reforming Social Security or — gasp — reducing the highest income tax brackets, both of which are endorsed by Bowles/Simpson. Sample reaction from Obama pal and AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka: “The chairmen of the Deficit Commission just told working Americans to ‘Drop Dead.’”

TPM has a useful, detailed bullet-point summary of recommended spending cuts, tax increases, and entitlement reforms, but if you’re only interested in a broad overview, this CNN piece is better. Provisions to please conservatives: A huge tax overhaul, highlighted by a new top income tax bracket of just 23 percent; Social Security solvency via gradually raising the retirement age and reducing COLA; eliminating 10 percent of the federal work force by 2015; and various measures to slow the growth of Medicare. All in all, according to the Times, the plan calls for $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in revenue increases. And yet…

Even with the dramatic proposals, the Bowles-Simpson plan would leave deficits of about $300 billion in 2015, the year by which Obama tasked the group with balancing the federal budget, except for interest payments on a national debt that now stands at $13.7 trillion. If the changes to Social Security are dropped, the deficit would be about $400 billion in 2015…

“We’ll both be in a witness protection program when this is all over, so look us up,” Simpson told reporters.

If anything, says Samuel Staley at NRO, the plan doesn’t go far enough. And yet, it’s already dead on arrival because of how far it is willing to go. In fact, think of it as the flip side of Paul Krugman’s eternal whining about how the stimulus really should have been $2 trillion or $100 trillion or whatever: We’re working within very narrow political parameters here, even with tea partiers flying the flag of fiscal responsibility, such that even more drastic-yet-effective remedies are simply unthinkable. Never mind the Social Security tweaks; what’s going to happen when even fiscal conservatives learn that Bowles and Simpson want to take away the deduction for mortgage interest payments and add 15 cents per gallon to the federal gas tax? See Ace’s sobering thoughts for that.

I’m all about conversation-starting when it comes to entitlement reform these days, so today’s news is a moral victory if nothing else. Now all we need to do is find someone, anyone, who’s seriously willing to have that conversation. I’ll leave you with this clip of incoming Rep. Kristi Noem, a tea party favorite who’s likely to end up as the freshman voice on the GOP’s leadership team. Skip ahead to 3:15. She won’t give Candy Crowley a flat “yes” when asked whether it’s time to cut Social Security.

Update: The sage of San Francisco, fresh off her total destruction at the polls last week, has decided that the Bowles/Simpson plan simply won’t do.


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I’ll leave you with this clip of incoming Rep. Kristi Noem, a tea party favorite who’s likely to end up as the freshman voice on the GOP’s leadership team. Skip ahead to 3:15. She won’t give Candy Crowley a flat “yes” when asked whether it’s time to cut Social Security.

I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. She seemed to be hinting at cuts and/or major reforms for future generations, but pledged to keep the promises already made to retirees and senior citizens. If I’m not mistaken, isn’t that basically what Paul Ryan’s been saying?

Doughboy on November 10, 2010 at 4:25 PM

The First Cut Is The Deepest But IT Get’s Easier After That.

The Freshmen need to try it they may find they like it.

Dr Evil on November 10, 2010 at 4:26 PM

How much did this commission cost the federal government? I hope it was free, because you get what you pay for, and we are not getting anything.

txmomof6 on November 10, 2010 at 4:27 PM

Ya know, just stop taking SS out my check. Let me keep the money. I won’t even ask to be compensated back for the full amount of looting that was done to my wallet. I’ll consider it a contribution to the greater good as long as I can claim the deduction on my taxes for 5 years in a row. Heck I’ll even agree to 5 deductions every other year. I’m a nice guy, what can I say?

SouthernGent on November 10, 2010 at 4:27 PM

OK, the mortgage deduction I can live without….but 15 cents a gallon more for gas??? Have these bozos bought gas lately? Ask my boss about buying gas for a fleet of vehicles. That and insurance is killing him!

odat on November 10, 2010 at 4:29 PM

Until I see “kill ObamaCare” I know they’re not serious.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Isn’t this the same Deficit Commission that keeps needing new bailouts infusions of Government cash?

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/06/07/deficit-commission-out-of-money/

Attention Deficit seems to be the real problem.

VastRightWingConspirator on November 10, 2010 at 4:31 PM

We’re not going to have an up-or-down vote on this,” said Durbin. “There are proposals in there that are painful. “

Well, duh. When we can’t pay our bills, we have to give up our HBO. It hurts. Why should Uncle Sam be free from the troubles and cares of reality? Deal with it.

hawksruleva on November 10, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Well, what’d you expect them to do. reduce the deficit?

abobo on November 10, 2010 at 4:32 PM

Prediction: We’re going to raise taxes and say that we’re going to make spending cuts that will never happen. Just like always.

JavelinaBomb on November 10, 2010 at 4:34 PM

Ya know, just stop taking SS out my check. Let me keep the money. …

SouthernGent on November 10, 2010 at 4:27 PM

I have always thought that that method, voluntarily removing oneself from SocSec, would be a great way to reduce future liabilities. People that opt out get their 6.2% payroll tax elimanted, 6.2% “employer” portion remains, and the tax payer can get up to $10K (or other number) deduction for any savings they accumulate during the year.

WashJeff on November 10, 2010 at 4:34 PM

No increase in any tax … period. Cut the damn spending.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 4:34 PM

Noem finessed those aggressive Crowley questions with directness and aplomb.

The so-called deficit commission will end up costing the producers more and the moochers less when the dust finally settles.

onlineanalyst on November 10, 2010 at 4:35 PM

If you want to deepen the foreclosure crisis, yes, by all means dump the mortgage interest deduction.

dczombie on November 10, 2010 at 4:37 PM

Seeing Schakowsy’s AND Durbin’s opinions in the same paragraph makes me want to hurl.

tencole on November 10, 2010 at 4:38 PM

I find the whole thing funny. How much did we pay for this crap?
I am buying gas for a fleet of vehicles and I can not afford it right now. People are going to come unglued at the thought of no interest deduction.
Cut spending, just cut it, I don’t care where but if they raise taxes at all, they can kiss job creation goodbye.

ORconservative on November 10, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Ya know, just stop taking SS out my check. Let me keep the money. I won’t even ask to be compensated back for the full amount of looting that was done to my wallet.
SouthernGent on November 10, 2010 at 4:27 PM

I’m with you! That’s 2 of us, giddyup who else is on board!

search4truth on November 10, 2010 at 4:39 PM

dczombie on November 10, 2010 at 4:37 PM

exactly. I don’t think they care though.

ORconservative on November 10, 2010 at 4:39 PM

The Obama version of bi-partisan?
Committee is 2/3 picked by Democrats and 1/3 picked by Republicans.

barnone on November 10, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Provisions to please conservatives: A huge tax overhaul, highlighted by a new top income tax bracket of just 23 percent; Social Security solvency via gradually raising the retirement age and reducing COLA; eliminating 10 percent of the federal work force by 2015; and various measures to slow the growth of Medicare.

All this sounds great!

what’s going to happen when even fiscal conservatives learn that Bowles and Simpson want to take away the deduction for mortgage interest payments and add 15 cents per gallon to the federal gas tax? See Ace’s sobering thoughts for that.

Another 15 cents/gallon on gasoline would only add to its cost by 5%, and might incite people to buy smaller cars and/or drive less agressively or carpool to save fuel.

But taking away the deduction for mortgage interest payments would be a deal-killer, since the housing construction industry is already in the doldrums, and some now-solvent homeowners would be forced out of their homes without the tax deduction, and tens of millions of homeowners would scream bloody murder even if they could afford it. Unless the lower tax brackets made up for the losses…

Steve Z on November 10, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Damn, I am surprised at how much I like it. I was already willing to accept losing the mortgage tax deduction, but removing AMT and cutting the top tax rates? COUNT ME IN.

Chuck Schick on November 10, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Seeing Schakowsy’s AND Durbin’s opinions in the same paragraph makes me want to hurl.

tencole on November 10, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Agreed. Those are two fiscal dynamos, eh?

onlineanalyst on November 10, 2010 at 4:40 PM

How about we stop providing free medical care and education to illegal immigrants?

stenwin77 on November 10, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Deficit Commission likely to reject chairmen’s plan to reduce national debt

So essentially the whole exercise was a “blue ribbon” circle j*rk?

Mike Honcho on November 10, 2010 at 4:41 PM

I just wonder where the “seizing everyone’s 401Ks” is.

Iblis on November 10, 2010 at 4:43 PM

What has me riled about this entire deficit panel is the fact not a single solitary congressman or senator has yet to chime in with the fact that it’s their responsibility to figure out how to do this.

The most important responsibility of Congress and they’re happy to watch a presidential panel do their job.

Un-freaking-believable!!!

ButterflyDragon on November 10, 2010 at 4:43 PM

I like this, too. You can’t just stop Medicare and Social Security. You need to work out a transition program.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Candy Crowley needs a makeover … what’s with that mop on her head?

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Agreed. Those are two, [Durbin and Schakowsky], fiscal dynamos, eh?

onlineanalyst on November 10, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Just to the left of Rual Castro.

WashJeff on November 10, 2010 at 4:46 PM

I just wonder where the “seizing everyone’s 401Ks” is.

Iblis on November 10, 2010 at 4:43 PM

I’m sure there’s no 401(k)s and IRAs going forward. There also may not be any continuing tax exemption from additional income earned byexisting 401(k)s and IRAs as of the effective date.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 4:46 PM

So essentially the whole exercise was a “blue ribbon” circle j*rk?

Mike Honcho on November 10, 2010 at 4:41 PM

And this surprises you why? This outcome was the easiest thing in the world to predict. Just wait for the so-called REAL report. It will be a watered down version of this and Zero will dominate our TVs yammering about starting conversations, hard choices, false choices and whatever else only to abruptly change the subject. “Oh look! A squirrel!” This was never meant to amount to anything other than to provide cover for a few unhappy things he was already planning to do.

stvnscott on November 10, 2010 at 4:48 PM

I do like Ace’s reminder of PJ O’Rourke’s “Parliament of Whores”….at the end of the day, everyone wants to cut out “other peoples” free stuff. We as a nation need to understand that the gravy train has to stop for EVERYONE.

search4truth on November 10, 2010 at 4:48 PM

9 months and this is all they can come up with?? What a load of crap.

How about elimination of:

Dept. of Education
Dept. of Energy
Dept. of Agriculture
and most other departments…
Eliminate ALL foreign aid
Get out of the UN and get the UN out os the US
Cut all other spending 20% across the board
Bring the troops home and put them on the borders

Wheeee…this budget cutting is easy!!!!

and all in the time it took to write this post….hah!!!

PatriotRider on November 10, 2010 at 4:48 PM

what’s going to happen when even fiscal conservatives learn that Bowles and Simpson want to take away the deduction for mortgage interest payments and add 15 cents per gallon to the federal gas tax? See Ace’s sobering thoughts for that.

The interest deduction could go away and it wouldn’t affect anyone in the long run. For every $1 saved in taxes via the deduction, the price of a house is increased by $1. In the end the tax deduction is nothing but a give away to the house building / house selling industry.

A simple example. You have $1000 to buy an item. Then the govt says, buy this item and I will give you $100. Guess what, the item that used to cost $1000 now will cost $1100 since everyone will have an extra $100 to spend and sellers will raise their price by $100. Same thing with houses. A house is $200K. Govt comes in and says, I’ll subsidize your mortgage payment so you can now buy a house for $250K….guess what happens to the price of that $200K house….you guessed it, it is now a $250K house. The buyer of the house has gained absolutely nothing from the govt.

angryed on November 10, 2010 at 4:48 PM

From the WaPo:

Entitlement programs would not go untouched, however. Farmers and federal retirees would see reductions in payments.

Payments? Farmers aren’t receiving payments. They’re receiving charity. Or handouts. Payments are something you’ve earned. So unless you’re talking about payment for votes, a lot of the money coming out of DC should be called welfare, or charity, or theft.

hawksruleva on November 10, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Even with the dramatic proposals, the Bowles-Simpson plan would leave deficits of about $300 billion in 2015, the year by which Obama tasked the group with balancing the federal budget, except for interest payments on a national debt that now stands at $13.7 trillion. If the changes to Social Security are dropped, the deficit would be about $400 billion in 2015…

About the same deficit that President George W. Bush left with in 2008. So an Obama-appointed deficit commission proposes 7 years to return us to the results of the same “failed” policies of the past. Out of Obama’s ditch, back on Bush’s road.

Do we miss him (Bush) yet?

Steve Z on November 10, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Get out of the UN and get the UN out os the US

PatriotRider on November 10, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Just get out of the UN. The loss of our monetary support would cripple it and I sincerely doubt other member countries would pick up the slack.

Kill two birds with one stone. Save money and kill the UN.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 4:51 PM

If you want to deepen the foreclosure crisis, yes, by all means dump the mortgage interest deduction.

dczombie on November 10, 2010 at 4:37 PM

To be fair, the recommendation is for 2nd homes and homes costing over $500K (the hated McMansion). Still, this hits me where I live since I own a rent house because I can’t sell it in this market. With this provision, I would go from losing $15K a year to losing $20K a year or more. So yeah. Maybe I would let the bank forclose. OK, I wouldn’t, but many other people would.

stvnscott on November 10, 2010 at 4:52 PM

I have thought all along that the only way we truly get rid (or at least get control) of Medicare and Social Security is with a group of pols that truly don’t care about getting tossed out in the next election. That’s the only way. How many of you know older folks who say (regardless of political leanings) “I paid into it for 30 years, now I want my money!”??? The politicians that did their job and controlled SS and/or Medicare would surely be tossed out…and the nation would be better for it.

search4truth on November 10, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Update: The sage of San Francisco, fresh off her total destruction at the polls last week, has decided that the Bowles/Simpson plan simply won’t do.

Oh well, in two months Pelosi’s opinion won’t matter to anyone outside her district, or 99.77% of the American people.

A more pertinent question–what does John Boehner think?

Steve Z on November 10, 2010 at 4:52 PM

About the same deficit that President George W. Bush left with in 2008. So an Obama-appointed deficit commission proposes 7 years to return us to the results of the same “failed” policies of the past. Out of Obama’s ditch, back on Bush’s road.

Do we miss him (Bush) yet?

Steve Z on November 10, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Not technically correct. FY2008 ended at the end of September, 2008 with a $400 billion deficit. Bush left in January, 2009. Remember what happened in those four months.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Per the update, I guess Nancy had to be pulled away from the party planning because clearly everyone wants to know what she thinks./

txmomof6 on November 10, 2010 at 4:54 PM

So Pelosi just said the Commission’s cuts are unacceptable.

I say we run ads showing Nancy saying cuts are unacceptable, followed by Noem smiling and saying, “Whatever Nancy says, the country needs to cut our spending and here is what and why.” Then she goes on to say what and why.

Who will the public believe, that harridan Pelosi, a person whom they already KNOW they can’t trust or even stand to look at, or Noem who looks trustworthy, and tells them what they already know, namely that SOMETHING needs to be done?

Lily on November 10, 2010 at 4:57 PM

How many of you know older folks who say (regardless of political leanings) “I paid into it for 30 years, now I want my money!”???

search4truth on November 10, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Ummm, are you disputing that the government did in fact take SS from them for 30 years in return for a promise that they would be paid benefits at a later date?

txmomof6 on November 10, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Tax increases?

That only holds if you start from the premise that we will all have jobs and still have property.

We won’t.

portlandon on November 10, 2010 at 4:59 PM

Is it just me or are SS and Medicare the only programs out there, these two programs have contributors, the working class are forced to pay into them all their working life.

WELFARE, and MEDICAIR,SCHIP pay out more that SS and Medicare combined and these recipients contibute nothing, but there is not one person talking about cuts to these programs, maybe I’m missing something,stick to the old people and give it to the parasites.

Oh well like oBama said about his grandma she was a typical old white person.:):)

concernedsenior on November 10, 2010 at 5:01 PM

To be fair, the recommendation is for 2nd homes and homes costing over $500K (the hated McMansion). Still, this hits me where I live since I own a rent house because I can’t sell it in this market. With this provision, I would go from losing $15K a year to losing $20K a year or more. So yeah. Maybe I would let the bank forclose. OK, I wouldn’t, but many other people would.

stvnscott on November 10, 2010 at 4:52 PM

There are three different options. In the first opinion, the mortgage interest deduction is eliminated.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 5:03 PM

How many of you know older folks who say (regardless of political leanings) “I paid into it for 30 years, now I want my money!”???
search4truth on November 10, 2010 at 4:52 PM
Ummm, are you disputing that the government did in fact take SS from them for 30 years in return for a promise that they would be paid benefits at a later date?

txmomof6 on November 10, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Me, for one.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 5:04 PM

No recommendations for federal salary cuts, freezes and layoffs? No federal departments to be eliminated?

If not, -they aren’t looking at the problem seriously.

slickwillie2001 on November 10, 2010 at 5:05 PM

The hilarious part is that they think they can reduce the deficit by $4 trillion in ten years, during which time the debt will increase by $12 trillion.

Jaibones on November 10, 2010 at 5:06 PM

How many of you know older folks who …
search4truth on November 10, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Ummm, are you disputing that the government did in fact take SS from them for 30 years …
txmomof6 on November 10, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Me, for one.
Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 5:04 PM

Generational warfare can be so fun! :-/ The glories of government sanctioned Ponzi schemes.

WashJeff on November 10, 2010 at 5:07 PM

I swear to God – I have no clue about our lawmakers.

Look – during the 80′s … when I was putting my wife through school – times were tough for me and my family. I had to cut expenses …

And to determine what I should cut back on in the family budget – I DID NOT START WITH THE FOOD BILL.

Can we ditch premium cable and go with basic service? Or do we need to dump cable completely? Should I stop buying surf boards and wetsuits maybe? Maybe I should learn to reload my rifle shells instead of buying a fresh box of ammo every time I go to the range? Should I sell this expensive car – and buy an economy beater to replace it with?

That’s how you cut a budget – you start by cutting the luxuries.

You DO NOT start with the necessities.

We should not even be discussing cuts to Social Security until the NEA, NPR, PBS, ATF, and the Department of Education have been DE-FUNDED. We should not be talking about cutting Social Security while SCHIP is paying the health care of 26 year old illegal aliens. We should not be talking about cutting Social Security until subsidies for stem cell research – and all kinds of research that doesn’t have a military application have been defunded.

Do you think that Americans will allow Social Security to be cut while the government pays an artist to make statuettes of Jesus out of horse manure? Do you think Americans will allow Social Security to be cut while ObamaCare is paying for abortions? Do you think Americans will allow Social Security to be cut while NASA is being funded to improve the “self esteem” of Muslims in the middle east? Do you think Americans will allow Social Security to be cut while the government is funding educational programs in Africa to teach men how to wash their private parts?

Come ON!!

HondaV65 on November 10, 2010 at 5:09 PM

The Dems were smart to delay this report until the elections. Now, if Congress takes responsible action, the Dems will be able to paint the Republicans as being heartless. Personally, I think that the age for Social Security benefits should be raised to 70. It is immoral for us to steal from our children and the next generation. Too many of my boomer generation have become a bunch of greedy b**tards who want other people’s money.

mydh12 on November 10, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Didn’t that freeze/Wage and Price Controls Nixon imposed back in ’71 help stabilize the economy and combat runaway inflation? Would that be feasible now?

OmahaConservative on November 10, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Allahpundit wrote, ‘…so today’s news is a moral victory if nothing else.’

I’m leery of the term, ‘moral victory’. It reminds me of something the Sean Connery character said in the film, ‘The Rock’, in response to the Nicholas Cage character’s remark that he ‘would try’. Connery’s line was something pithy, something about winners and prom queens. I forget.

A ‘moral victory’ means nothing. Either we win or we lose. Either way, we need to stop thinking there are such things as ‘moral victories’.

troyriser_gopftw on November 10, 2010 at 5:15 PM

Now the fun starts. Who’s going to volunteer to step up and take the pain first?

Fortunata on November 10, 2010 at 5:15 PM

Social Security and Medicare are the biggest problems. That’s why they’re working on them.

And many people take more out of Social Security than they pay in. In fact, that is precisely why Social Security is in trouble.

I think they should turn the Social Security accounts into actual accounts. Once you’ve spent it, you’re done. Sorry. Folks can fund their own plans to cover their retirement costs, after all.

hawksruleva on November 10, 2010 at 5:15 PM

HondaV65 on November 10, 2010 at 5:09 PM

You have some very good points about cutting out that unnecessary stuff first. I fully agree. But that isn’t going to be enough. We must cut that AND raise the age for Social Security.

mydh12 on November 10, 2010 at 5:15 PM

“We should not even be discussing cuts to Social Security until the NEA, NPR, PBS, ATF, and the Department of Education have been DE-FUNDED. We should not be talking about cutting Social Security while SCHIP is paying the health care of 26 year old illegal aliens. We should not be talking about cutting Social Security until subsidies for stem cell research – and all kinds of research that doesn’t have a military application have been defunded.”

Damn right!

Or, as they do here in California, closing parks,curtailing libraries, stop fixing roads, etc… while paying more than $10.5 billion in services for illegals. (And that is a 2005 number!)

VastRightWingConspirator on November 10, 2010 at 5:18 PM

Hey, wanna save money? Boot illegals. They cost us billions every year.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 5:23 PM

HondaV65 on November 10, 2010 at 5:09 PM

This.

Lily on November 10, 2010 at 5:23 PM

How many of you know older folks who …
search4truth on November 10, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Ummm, are you disputing that the government did in fact take SS from them for 30 years …
txmomof6 on November 10, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Me, for one.
Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 5:04 PM
Generational warfare can be so fun! :-/ The glories of government sanctioned Ponzi schemes.

WashJeff on November 10, 2010 at 5:07 PM

I promise not to exploit for political purposes my opponent’s youth and inexperience.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 5:26 PM

“There are proposals in there that are painful.“

No sh1t, Sherlock. As we’ve been saying all along (for years now, in fact), it’s *going* to be painful; the longer you wait and put it off, the *more* painful it’s going to be.

We’ve been telling you this about SS, Medicare/aid, FannieMae/FreddieMac, welfare spending, increasing federal deficit, etc.

Start paying attention, stop f@#$ing around, and do your f@#$ing jobs, you morons. WTF else do we have to do before you’ll get it?!??!

Midas on November 10, 2010 at 5:26 PM

Social Security and Medicare are the biggest problems. That’s why they’re working on them.

And many people take more out of Social Security than they pay in. In fact, that is precisely why Social Security is in trouble.

I think they should turn the Social Security accounts into actual accounts. Once you’ve spent it, you’re done. Sorry. Folks can fund their own plans to cover their retirement costs, after all.

hawksruleva on November 10, 2010 at 5:15 PM

SS and Medicare are largely in trouble because they looted those funds to pay for PBS, NEA, NPR, ACORN, Dept. of Education, et al, who bring in NO FUNDS at all. They only take out.

Lily on November 10, 2010 at 5:27 PM

If they want to cut SS, fine, cut our taxes the same amount. Cut the SS % taken out of workers paychecks and give them a tax break for investing in a IRA. Fire some of the SS Dept workers since we’ll all be getting and giving less, there will be less work for them to do. See how easy this is.

Kissmygrits on November 10, 2010 at 5:27 PM

I’m telling you folks; high school students can do better than these so called elite professional law makers. Seriously now, do any of these people give you any confidence in our political establishment being able to solve even the most basic of our problems. These are the same people who took control over management of the mess haul that feeds Congress and lost a huge amount of within months. These people aren’t our best and brightest by far. Our best and brightest are in the private sector, which btw would have these problems solved in a matter of weeks.

Keemo on November 10, 2010 at 5:27 PM

The very existence of this “deficit reduction” commission is an outrage. They were not elected. They have no authority. It’s like putting a bunch of college professors in a room and asking them for ideas.

Instead, we need Congress to do its job without covering their butts with this commission.

Or they can hire a real deficit reduction commission–Chris Christie.

Emperor Norton on November 10, 2010 at 5:27 PM

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 5:26 PM

As a lawyer you should be familiar with that SCOTUS decision from around 1963 that allowed the government to consider Social Security as just another tax and that no one was entitled to receive any return on what they put in.

chemman on November 10, 2010 at 5:29 PM

This is a JOKE! It is simple, get rid of any department that cannot be justified by the constitution. If it is really needed the stats will take care of it, that is their job! The Feds fund so much BS it is unreal. Oh some will say but what about the poor or the environment, once again it is a state, local problem. The FDA? Mmmm they clear a drug as safe, someone dies then the Feds comes down hard on the company for making the drug, go figure.

Now I guess I should take my meds after that rant.

Teleycoman on November 10, 2010 at 5:31 PM

I wonder who broke the news to Andy Griffith?

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 5:33 PM

“This is not a package that I could support,” Representative Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat

That quote alone should scream out for support for the package by any sensible, patriotic American.

This marxist scumbag is married to the convicted felon Robert Creamer that wrote Obamacare while in the klink.

Sickening

ontherocks on November 10, 2010 at 5:36 PM

I’ll gladly give up the home mortgage interest deduction, as long as fruit fly studies are cut to zero, and the EPA, FDA, and Dept of Education are closed down. Spread the pain – cut all the fat, and 10% of the meat for everyone.

Vashta.Nerada on November 10, 2010 at 5:37 PM

Obama’s Instructions to the Commission:
1. Propose lots of scary cuts that anger both sides of the aisle.
2. Withdraw those after the uproar.
3. Go with a VAT proposal so complex that nobody understands it.
Problem solved!

KS Rex on November 10, 2010 at 5:47 PM

The very existence of this “deficit reduction” commission is an outrage. They were not elected. They have no authority. It’s like putting a bunch of college professors in a room and asking them for ideas.

Instead, we need Congress to do its job without covering their butts with this commission.

Or they can hire a real deficit reduction commission–Chris Christie.

Emperor Norton on November 10, 2010 at 5:27 PM

Right; if the democratics and their old media arm likes the outcome of this commission, it will be treated like the 9/11 commission, –gospel, carved in stone, thou shalt not deviate. If they don’t agree with it, that’s the last we’ll hear of it.

slickwillie2001 on November 10, 2010 at 5:48 PM

Well it definitely will start the conversation.

The exit question is: WILL CONGRESS HAVE THE GUTS TO DO ANYTHING?

This would be a great time for Barry to step forward, connect, and lead.

Hahahahahaha. But we all know that’s not going to happen.

GarandFan on November 10, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Vashta.Nerada on November 10, 2010 at 5:37 PM

If they cut the Deptartment of Ed, they could tax me twice on an item their choice.

ORconservative on November 10, 2010 at 5:54 PM

How about just cutting spending across the board to FY 2008 levels and letting the economy grow?

The tax overhaul does sound good though, as long as they really mean it this time. I would gladly give up my very large mortgage interest deduction in return for a 23% top rate and simplification so that I don’t have to waste hours or hundreds of dollarts to get my tax return done. If this commission can reach a consensus that the tax code should be used only to raise revenue for essential government functions and not for social or business engineering, that would be a great outcome even if they can’t agree on spending cuts!

rockmom on November 10, 2010 at 5:56 PM

I’ll gladly give up the home mortgage interest deduction, as long as fruit fly studies are cut to zero, and the EPA, FDA, and Dept of Education are closed down. Spread the pain – cut all the fat, and 10% of the meat for everyone.

Vashta.Nerada on November 10, 2010 at 5:37 PM

Me too, but the Realtors have the biggest grassroots lobbying operation in the country and they will go ballistic on this one. I worked for NAR 20 years ago, and nothing gets them revved up like a threat to the mortgage interest deduction.

rockmom on November 10, 2010 at 5:58 PM

Want to make budget cuts a reality? Incentivize the cuts. Give a one-time, 1% bonus (of the total dollar amount cut) to the Senator or Congresscritter who submits a bill that cuts the spending.

Gauranteed, within 4 years, we’ll have a surplus budget and be paying down the debt.

BobMbx on November 10, 2010 at 6:00 PM

I don’t trust the liberals to ever do what is right.

They adhere to an immoral philosophy. Though they themselves may not be immoral, the results are the same.

scotash on November 10, 2010 at 6:02 PM

The games will continue until the checks bounce.

Scotsman on November 10, 2010 at 6:02 PM

The people in Washington DC all suffer from what I like to call RDD (reality deficit disorder). They have no clue what to do to make things work better not only for the federal government but for the American people. Sad thing is, there is no pill to ease any of the symptons.

milwife88 on November 10, 2010 at 6:02 PM

A huge tax overhaul, highlighted by a new top income tax bracket of just 23 percent; Social Security solvency via gradually raising the retirement age and reducing COLA; eliminating 10 percent of the federal work force by 2015; and various measures to slow the growth of Medicare.

Yes, this! Common sense ideas. They also must ignore those who argue against ‘minor’ cuts in spending (eg $10 milion earmarks). Make enough of those small cuts and pretty soon they’ll be talking real money.

LASue on November 10, 2010 at 6:03 PM

Want to make budget cuts a reality? Incentivize the cuts. Give a one-time, 1% bonus (of the total dollar amount cut) to the Senator or Congresscritter who submits a bill that cuts the spending.

BobMbx on November 10, 2010 at 6:00 PM

I’d bet that they already get more than that in bribe money.

Vashta.Nerada on November 10, 2010 at 6:03 PM

If they cut the Deptartment of Ed, they could tax me twice on an item their choice.

ORconservative on November 10, 2010 at 5:54 PM

LOL.. :-) Amen on that one!

Keemo on November 10, 2010 at 6:06 PM

How many of you know older folks who say (regardless of political leanings) “I paid into it for 30 years, now I want my money!”???

search4truth on November 10, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Not sure what is constitutes “older folks”, but I’ve worked for 30 years (I started very young), and have never expected to get back any of the money I paid into social security. I don’t know anyone my age that does.

LASue on November 10, 2010 at 6:08 PM

oooooo…nice to see Obaka’s attempt to vote ‘present’ on this issues isn’t working out so great…

ladyingray on November 10, 2010 at 6:11 PM

The games will continue until the checks bounce.

Scotsman on November 10, 2010 at 6:02 PM

Make sure your federal withholding is a little short. One of these years I expect we will get our income tax refunds in the form of vouchers or t-bills or something like that. California is our future.

slickwillie2001 on November 10, 2010 at 6:17 PM

LASue on November 10, 2010 at 6:08 PM

I hear you Sue, but isn’t that a testament as to how pathetic our government is. We accept the fact that they are taking a portion of our hard earned money from every paycheck to go towards our retirement knowing that we will never see one penny of it. Talk about in your face robbery.

My entire life, I have witnessed what the government calls a “war on poverty” but have seen no results despite trillions of our dollars supposedly going towards this fabricated war. Give the private sector that money and this problem would either be solved within a few years, or we would simply be told to stop spending money on the problem, as it can’t be solved. These people are enriching themselves while feeding us pure BS and daring us to do something about it. We finally are, it’s called the Tea Party.

Keemo on November 10, 2010 at 6:18 PM

How about just slashing 50% of the Federal Depts? I mean gone.

Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Administrative Committee of the Federal Register, Administrative Conference of the United States, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, African Development Foundation, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Agency for International Development, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Agricultural Marketing Service, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau (Justice), Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (Treasury), American Battle Monuments Commission, Appalachian Regional Commission, Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Interagency Coordinating Committee, Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, Bonneville Power Administration, Botanic Garden, Broadcasting Board of Governors (Voice of America, Radio|TV Marti and more), Bureau of International Labor Affairs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Public Debt, Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Okay I’m tired, but go to http://www.usa.gov, list the government agencies. this isn’t even half of the A’s and B’s.

Oh and don’t forget the NEA, both of them!

docjohn52 on November 10, 2010 at 6:23 PM

no worries, before it comes out, dear leader’s cronies will tweak it to their liking

cmsinaz on November 10, 2010 at 6:27 PM

So when was that it was announced that SSA wouldn’t pay out by the time I would be eligible to ‘retire’? Sometime around 1985 or so if I remember correctly… I planned accordingly and figured that FICA would be just another huge tax for them to spend frivolously on more government. That is what happened.

Anyone who believed the politicians should know better: the politicians lie to get re-elected. They lied to you, to me, to the Nation about SSA. We can’t afford it. Period. The rich could ‘retire’ before SSA because that is a perk of being wealthy: you can afford to stop working. Today there are all sorts of investment tools available as well as funds that the common man can pay into that would grow if the government would stop growing and taxing us more, then printing money when that isn’t enough. You want to ‘retire’? Plan your own damn retirement without the ‘help’ of government. You want to help the poor? Contribute to charity. Ditto the sick. The elderly. Donate your own time, not everyone else’s cash for your slackluster ability not to do it yourself.

The way to end SSA? Continue paying out current enrollees, although their cash stops when their ‘account’ runs dry. THEY should have planned for that eventuality. End FICA. Allow everyone to write off their ‘account’ in taxes until it runs dry. Get rid of the retirement age, as there is no such thing. You want to retire? Fine! Plan for it yourself, the tools are available. A number of Microsoft employees ‘retired’ when the company went public… multi-millionaires who coded software and built an industry. Almost all of them went back to work, invested their earnings and are still building businesses. Apparently they like to work for a living, go figure.

Medicare and Medicaid? Add up, divide by 2, apportion to the States via block grants and phase out in 5 years. The States are more local to this work and need to figure out if they: a) want to do it, b) can afford it, c)their people are willing to pay for it. The federal government has failed at this task since it picked it up and its unwillingness to pay the cost of treatments has jacked up the prices for everyone, creating an inflationary spiral in health care. Let the States figure this out, and they will start with more money to build a system without any strings attached if they want it, can afford it and can figure out how to pay for it in 5 years.

Get rid of Dept of Ag, Energy, Education, Labor… Fannie, Freddie, Ginnie, Sallie, Federal Reserve… EPA, FDA and a host of other organizations that stand in the way of a competent underwriting system from developing like was done for electronics. Get rid of NASA, time for private industry to do that. Then the NEA can go away. Our foreign aid can go to zilch, along with our UN dues… in fact have NYC figure out if they want the UN to be there without paying taxes or vehicle parking tickets.

Starve the beast.

Keep the promises to those already in the system.

If you haven’t planned for your life, then you had best start taking control of it, now, before government takes control of you. The power to pay your retirement is the power to keep you on a short leash… and if you don’t want to be a pet of government it is time to plan on living without a leash, no?

These are not politically palatable today, yes.

They are the default answer when the printing presses make your cash worthless, your work valueless and you poor and starving. Then government becomes the problem and they become very palatable as the insolvent government can’t keep its promise and the only way for you to be liquid is to get the government vacuum cleaner out of your bank account and out of banks completely. How poor do you have to be to stop looking at government as a solution? Particularly when it can’t do a thing for you because it is flat broke. You can stop now with some pain… or you can let the pain increase until you finally decide it must stop and you will take care of your fellow citizens and be a citizen willing to build society without government ‘help’ that just gets in the way at high cost.

You can save yourself.

Do that and you start to save the Nation.

Don’t look for the government for that, because by the Preamble to the Constitution that is OUR JOB THAT WE AGREE TO DO.

ajacksonian on November 10, 2010 at 6:38 PM

cutting foreign aid seems like a good start as well…

cmsinaz on November 10, 2010 at 6:43 PM

ajacksonian on November 10, 2010 at 6:38 PM

good points

cmsinaz on November 10, 2010 at 6:44 PM

I’m sure there’s no 401(k)s and IRAs going forward. There also may not be any continuing tax exemption from additional income earned byexisting 401(k)s and IRAs as of the effective date.

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 4:46 PM

Why stop tax-advantaged retirement savings? It’s to the government’s benefit that people not rely on social security in old age. Since we as a nation do not save enough, I am fine with tax benefits for retirement savings that comes with a tax ding if you remove it prior to retirement age. Makes more sense at least than the mortgage tax deduction, because there’s no intrinsic gov’t benefit to people owning rather than renting.

alwaysfiredup on November 10, 2010 at 6:49 PM

The games will continue until the checks bounce.

Scotsman on November 10, 2010 at 6:02 PM

To infinity….And BEYOND!!!!!

Lily on November 10, 2010 at 6:51 PM

The way I se this is that there will be zero changes unless the populace that pays taxes delays submitting them until cuts are made across the board.

This should happen immediately; then:
- If you are on a W-2, claim the maximum amount of exemptions possible- to the point where nothing comes out except for FICA and contributions to your plan/profit sharing where extant.
- Submit automatic extensions to file you tax return. Don’t use the April 15 date, move it to August or October.

Folks the only way to get their frackin attention is to cut off the faucet.
Until some authentic efforts are made to respond to the will of the American taxpayer, they shouldn’t get one thin dime in withholding.
Especially, if the QE2 is pursued, I’d say that this may be the only thing they’ll understand.

OkieDoc on November 10, 2010 at 6:53 PM

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