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Discussion of 2010 Fiscal Commission Proposal to Reduce Debt / Deficit

 
 
Reply Fri 12 Nov, 2010 11:11 am
President Obama created the bipartisan National Commission of Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and asked them to identify policies to improve our national fiscal situation.

The chair and co-chair of that commission released an early view of their report yesterday. The news, from what I have heard, is that neither party is thrilled. To the contrary, many of our representatives, both left and right, are indicating there are segments not at all acceptable to them.

Here is the Draft Proposal from the Commission:

http://www.fiscalcommission.gov/sites/fiscalcommission.gov/files/documents/CoChair_Draft.pdf

In the "$200 Billion in Illustrative Savings" supplement to the report, I could find nothing to disagree with:

http://www.fiscalcommission.gov/sites/fiscalcommission.gov/files/documents/Illustrative_List_11.10.2010.pdf

While I realize that may not be complete as to overhauling all government waste, the cutting of what is no longer appropriate or necessary, combining of services that are duplicative, and reducing expenditures in the areas noted seems extremely responsible and fair.

Isn't this exactly what we taxpayers have been asking for???

What do you agree with or disagree with from the Draft Proposal and supplemental report?

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Type: Discussion • Score: 7 • Views: 2,860 • Replies: 41
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roger
 
  2  
Reply Fri 12 Nov, 2010 02:04 pm
@squinney,
Maybe I'll check out the links and get back later. In other words, bookmarking. Could be a good discussion.
squinney
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Nov, 2010 03:51 pm
@roger,
Thanks, Roger. It isn't long. I got through it in about ten to 15 minutes. It's a basic overview, not a detailed legislative legal document.

0 Replies
 
rabel22
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2010 02:13 am
Not much n the way of specifics.
squinney
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2010 07:29 am
@rabel22,
True. But, it's just a committee that includes non-elected people, so they can't write it out as law. They are only making recommendations. Congress then has to choose what to include or exclude and write it as law.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2010 09:05 am
I've stated on the US economy thread that I agree with much/most of the points in the report. I don't "like" any of it, but it's time to face the music and make some really tough decisions.

Greenspan was on Meet the Press yesterday.
Quote:
WASHINGTON — The United States must move to rein in its massive budget deficits or it faces the risk of a bond market crisis, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said Sunday.

"We've got to resolve this issue before it gets forced upon us," Greenspan said of the ballooning U.S. debt levels.

He spoke as a panel, chaired by former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles and former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson, is due to deliver a report on debt and deficits by Dec. 1.

A draft report made public last week offered a series of politically tough tax and spending choices that would seek to reduce the debt by $4 trillion by 2020.

The suggestions received a lukewarm reception from some politicians and outright condemnation by others, including House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who pronounced the ideas "simply unacceptable."

Greenspan, who spoke on NBC's "Meet the Press," said he believed "something equivalent" to what Bowles and Simpson recommended would eventually be approved by the U.S. Congress.

"The only question is, is it before or after a bond market crisis? Because there's no alternative," he said. More
H2O MAN
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2010 09:38 am
@JPB,
The time to face the music and make some really tough decisions passed some 18 months ago.

Obama and his democrats totally ignored the economy... they have
and will continue to pay a high price for their stupidity and lack of action.
rabel22
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2010 10:09 am
@H2O MAN,
Like dropping the estate tax so the rich can get richer and we can cut medicare and social security that most of the middle class rely on. I think we need to cut some things, like the military, but the only way we will ever get the debt cured is to raise taxes. Especially on the very rich. The estate tax was instituted for a reason which the republicans need to research. It kept the very rich from controlling government with their power and money which is whats wrong with government today.
H2O MAN
 
  -3  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2010 10:16 am
@rabel22,
rable22 is rambling on about denying people the ability to pass their wealth on to whomever they want.
Rambling rabel would prefer the government be allowed to steal an individuals wealth and redistribute it.

Screw that!
0 Replies
 
Slim204
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2010 01:20 pm
@squinney,
The proposals made by the bipartisan commission need to be adopted in total and enacted as law. Do our politicans and citizens have the courage to support such an auster measure? Will any program adopted be painless? We the people and the politicans we have elected have made promises we cannot keep. Failure to stay within our means will plague our children and our children's children for ... Is this train wreck "unstoppable".
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2010 01:25 pm
@Slim204,
I completely disagree. This isn't even the 'commissions' proposal, it's the sole opinion of the two who are chairing the commission; they released this because they knew the whole thing was going to blow right up.

There's a simple solution to our fiscal problems that doesn't involve any of this bullshit - reign in spending, especially on the military, and restore the Clinton tax rates - for everybody. That balances our budgets within a decade (something this proposal never actually does) without having to chop every social program in existence to the bone.

This 'proposal' is deeply and totally unserious. They didn't accomplish the goal that was put in front of them, and it instead became an opportunity for Republicans on the committee to push tax cuts and cuts to social programs. Truly a waste of everyone's time and money.

Cycloptichorn
Slim204
 
  0  
Reply Wed 17 Nov, 2010 06:09 am
@Cycloptichorn,
I respectfully disagree with your conclusions. The proposal does indeed touch social programs just as it touches the military programs and every other agency of government to include VA and justice. If your looking at the same proposals as I - this proposal speaks to steps to overhauling the tax code, and getting a handle on debt. Although I agree with you 100% on a balanced budget, these proposals will go a long way to securing such a balanced budget.
H2O MAN
 
  -2  
Reply Wed 17 Nov, 2010 06:14 am
Retain the Bush tax cuts, then work to pass The FairTax Plan.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Nov, 2010 10:39 am
@Slim204,
Slim204 wrote:

I respectfully disagree with your conclusions. The proposal does indeed touch social programs just as it touches the military programs and every other agency of government to include VA and justice. If your looking at the same proposals as I - this proposal speaks to steps to overhauling the tax code, and getting a handle on debt. Although I agree with you 100% on a balanced budget, these proposals will go a long way to securing such a balanced budget.


I don't think they actually will. The whole thing is a shell game, designed to lower taxes on the rich and cut government spending. And it's totally unnecessary, all of it - every single piece of the plan is unnecessary. All we need to do is raise our tax rates from their crazy lows they are currently at and our problems vanish. We don't have to cut a single thing. Funny how that works.

Cycloptichorn
H2O MAN
 
  -3  
Reply Wed 17 Nov, 2010 11:07 am


A Race Against Time To Balance the Budget

Obama’s deficit commission laid out a plan to reduce the budget
deficit by $427 billion in 2015, mostly through raising taxes.



Jan Schakowsky offers liberal deficit plan
0 Replies
 
squinney
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Nov, 2010 07:30 am
@Cycloptichorn,
But, surely you would agree that there is room for spending cuts in some areas.

I thought the suggestions were fairly balanced in who would be affected. Do you have specific sections that concern you?

Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Nov, 2010 08:13 am
@squinney,
squinney wrote:
Do you have specific sections that concern you?

This commission was specifically created to explore all possible ways of reducing the federal deficit. Yet it sets an upper limit on revenue, but not a lower limit. Why would they rule out one of the most obvious ways of reducing the deficit? They don't even discuss this decision. It's not the outcome of any analysis they offer; it's one of the "guiding principles" they take for granted from the start. (Page 7 of the PDF document.) I agree with Cycloptichorn: this presentation looks deeply unserious to me.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Nov, 2010 08:59 am
Deficit commission debates Medicare overhaul

Quote:
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's deficit commission on Wednesday debated a dramatic plan to gradually turn Medicare from a system in which the government pays most beneficiaries' medical bills into a program in which seniors would purchase health insurance with government-issued vouchers.

Current Medicare beneficiaries wouldn't be affected, nor would future enrollees age 55 or over.


I don't have too many issues with Paul Ryan's plan to overall Medicare, with one major exception. Why should the very people who spent a lifetime electing our representatives and then not paying attention as those same officials screwed the pooch not have to carry any of the pain to make things right?
Cycloptichorn
 
  0  
Reply Thu 18 Nov, 2010 10:39 am
@squinney,
squinney wrote:

But, surely you would agree that there is room for spending cuts in some areas.


A little, I guess. I'm not against looking to ways to make our government more efficient. However, there is no possible way to pay off the budget deficit and debt through spending cuts. Only tax increases will do so, and any plan which doesn't include serious proposals for tax increases simply will fail.

The tax increases in this plan are, to me, a shell game. I've done the math and I can't replicate the results they claim they get, in terms of getting additional revenue through removing certain deductions. I believe that cutting taxes on the rich, which are already at their lowest levels EVER, by a THIRD, will rob gigantic amounts of money from our revenues; and high-priced lawyers and accountants will simply go to greater and greater lengths to find or pressure their politician buddies for new tax exemptions and breaks.

Not only that,

Quote:
I thought the suggestions were fairly balanced in who would be affected. Do you have specific sections that concern you?


They aren't balanced at all. The proposed plan hurts the poor and everyone else who relies on these 'government services' that everyone's so eager to cut, and does nothing at all to the rich except reward them.

You know what would be a MUCH more fair and balanced way to affect everyone, and reduce the deficit and debt? Let the Bush tax cuts expire on everyone! That way EVERYONE pays a little extra and EVERYONE still gets to enjoy the services they currently enjoy.

I don't believe for a second that ANYONE was struggling under the tax regime of the 90's. The country did the best it's done in the last 50 years during that time period. There's just no argument against returning to those rates of taxation that holds any water at all; especially if the goal of the exercise is deficit reduction. The 'proposal' by the leaders of this committee does nothing of the sort. Instead, it is a right-wing blueprint for remaking our government in a smaller image, one which is less effective and hobbled in stupid ways, for no good reason other than to avoid raising taxes on the rich.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 18 Nov, 2010 10:48 am
@JPB,
JPB wrote:

Deficit commission debates Medicare overhaul

Quote:
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's deficit commission on Wednesday debated a dramatic plan to gradually turn Medicare from a system in which the government pays most beneficiaries' medical bills into a program in which seniors would purchase health insurance with government-issued vouchers.

Current Medicare beneficiaries wouldn't be affected, nor would future enrollees age 55 or over.


I don't have too many issues with Paul Ryan's plan to overall Medicare


Shocked are you serious?

Yglesias:

Quote:
Paul Ryan’s Medicare Plan

David Brooks columns are often difficult to grasp hold of, but I want to flag this accurate-but-misleading account of how Paul Ryan’s “budget roadmap” achieves large reductions in entitlement spending: “On the welfare-state side, he’d sweep away most subsidies to the middle and upper classes, like the tax exemption on employee health plans. He’d essentially voucherize federal benefits, like health care and Social Security, and increase federal subsidies for people down the income scale.”

Since Social Security is just checks mailed out by the government I don’t even know what voucherizing it would mean. But it is true that he wants to replace Medicare, a program that pays for health care services, with vouchers that you use to buy private health insurance. But why would that save money? Is it because private insurance is more efficient than a government-run universal pool? No. It’s because while Medicare’s costs are projected to increase at the same rate as overall health care costs, Ryan’s vouchers are designed to increase in value at a much slower rate. So instead of paying for old people’s health care, which is expensive, Ryan proposed to just not pay for old people’s health care. Nobody can seriously deny that refusing to pay what health care costs saves a lot of money relative to paying what it actually does cost. But the savings here have nothing to do with vouchers or with sweeping away benefits to the middle and upper classes. You could accomplish the exact same thing by setting a cap on how much Medicare will pay for any one person’s health care. But conservatives would denounce that as “rationing” even though it’s identical in its impact on patients.

Either way, though, the issue is that as a country we can’t afford the quantity of health care services we’re projected to consumer in 30 or 40 years. Shifting the cost around doesn’t actually address that issue.


Paul Ryan's plan for Medicare is to destroy it. If his plan is put into place, it will cease to exist over time. This isn't an exaggeration, it's exactly how the plan is DESIGNED to work.

I cannot believe that you would support such a plan, JPB.

Cycloptichorn
 

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