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  • Please! No White House Lame Duck Commission

    After much congressional handwringing over what budget process reform to attach to a must-pass increase in the debt ceiling, support for the legislative proposal crafted by Senate Budget Committee leaders Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Judd Gregg (R-NH) has crumbled. It fell apart as many members recognized two political facts of life. One is that it would inevitably lead to tax increases. The other, reinforced by the Massachusetts election, is that Americans are in no mood for a back-room, members-only commission that rushes its plan through Congress just after the November election.

    The White House solution to the impasse? Surprise – an executive commission to do the same thing. Democratic leaders met with Vice President Joe Biden reportedly have struck a deal that would look much like the Conrad-Gregg proposal except that it would be set up by the White House.

    Senator Gregg condemned the White House attempted end run. “It’s a fraud among anyone interested in fiscal responsibility to claim that an executive order could structure something that would actually lead to action,” Gregg told The Washington Post.

    Indeed, the White House deal with the Democratic leadership compounds the flaws of the Conrad-Gregg version of a commission. For one thing it lacks the necessary broad public consultation and steps to gain public support that is essential to achieve and sustain major reforms in entitlements. Further, the commissioners would be chosen from a pool of potentially lame duck Members of Congress, with a report due after the election and recommendations to be crammed through and voted on by the end of the year in a lame duck session. If this process were actually successful, it would virtually guarantee a back-room “Andrews Air Force Base” deal consisting of immediate and real tax hikes combined with distant and doubtful spending cuts.

    The first steps to curing an addiction are to recognize you have a problem and to take the first tangible steps to get back on the path to sobriety. But an executive commission would have no teeth to tackle surging entitlement spending and would merely remove pressure on Congress or the President to take action. This past year saw spending explode to nearly 26 per cent of the economy – well over the 20% historical average – and with a staggering deficit of $1.4 trillion, or nearly 10 per cent of GDP. President Obama can show true leadership by proposing serious and specific reforms to entitlement spending in his upcoming budget, and he can start to get current spending under control by such things as cancelling TARP. But issuing an executive order to assemble a group of tired lawmakers to do the job for him is not the action of a decisive leader and will not produce results.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Please! No White House Lame Duck Commission

    1. Drew Page, IL says:

      The first sentence of the last paragraph of the above article sums it up. Before you can take steps to get on the path to sobriety, you have to admit you have a problem. Anyone who thinks that Mr. Obama is going to admit to having a problem needs to submit themselves for psychological testing.

    2. Pingback: Morning Bell: A Nothing Burger, A Fig Leaf, and a Commission On the Side | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    3. Susan M. Noegel says:

      I hope and pray that the addition of Scott Brown will help to stop the nonsense that goes on in Washington. When I listened to Rush this late morning. Nancy Polosi said she did not have enough votes to get the HEALTH POLICY through!!!!!!!!!

      That gives me some hope. The Liberal's seem a little scared . But I'm feel this will only be a short while. WE have to keep trying to elect more conservatives if there is any way to save the liberty we momentarily enjoy.

    4. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      I heard her also BUT she said it would have to be reworked, she's determined to push some form through, preferbably hers. We cannot let our guard down, this group needs to be watched carefully, they are very sneaky.

    5. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      I heard her also, BUT she added the bill needed to be worked on, she is determined to push this through, HER WAY. This group needs to be watched carefully, they are very sneaky.

    6. Pingback: Morning Bell: A Nothing Burger, A Fig Leaf, and a Commission On the Side | Conservative Principles Now

    7. Pingback: Blog: A Nothing Burger, a Fig Leaf, and $1.4 Trillion « OSPRI BLOG

    8. Pingback: Senate Rejects Spending Caps, and Reality | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    9. Pingback: The Real Debt Washington Doesn’t Want You to Know About | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

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