President’s Deficit Commission Releases Not-So-Great Final Proposal

At long last, after months of meetings and deliberation, the much-hyped National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (the Deficit Commission) released its final report earlier today. Tasked by the President to slash the budget deficit by 2015, the Commission had until today to release a plan. If fourteen of the eighteen members of the Commission vote to approve it, the then-leaders of the House and Senate (Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)) agreed to bring the plan up for a vote.

While the Commission co-chairs released their plan today, the Commission members have yet to vote on it. Apparently, the co-chairs are having some difficulty rounding up enough votes, since they pushed back the vote to Friday.

So what’s in the report? Interestingly, the final plan isn’t that different from the draft version the co-chairs released last month. The plan should be praised for containing a lot of specifics (which many of these plans often don’t have) and specifically targeting tax expenditures, but it still contains plenty of terrible ideas. There are still provisions like the arbitrary cap on revenue (21% of GDP), cuts to the federal workforce, and a raised Social Security retirement age.

For that reason, we’re encouraging both the Commission and Congress to reject the proposal in its current form. We think other plans, such as those by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) , the Citizens’ Commission on Jobs, Deficits and America’s Economic Future, and Our Fiscal Security, do far more to address the actual budget problems we face today, and do so with a progressive bent.

Here’s part of the press release we just put out on the Commission’s report:

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1, 2010—OMB Watch today panned the plan proposed by the co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to reshape the nation’s fiscal priorities. While the plan contains some praiseworthy provisions targeted at the tax code and the federal budget process, overall, it represents an unfortunate step backward in meeting the needs of the nation’s working families.
Craig Jennings, Director of Federal Fiscal Policy at OMB Watch, said, "The commission, in its zeal to balance the budget in what it sees as a politically palatable way, failed to equitably distribute the burden of deficit reduction among all Americans."

You can read the rest of the release here.

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