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  • A Toothless Commission On Spending Is No Substitute for True Leadership

    Obama creates the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform

    The recent debt limit increase passed by Congress has sparked a national debate on how to adequately reverse out-of-control federal spending. After much congressional hand-wringing recently over what budget process reform to attach to the must-pass increase in the debt ceiling, support for a bipartisan commission crafted by Senate Budget Committee leaders Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Judd Gregg (R-NH) crumbled. Lawmakers realized that the framing of the commission would most likely lead to tax increases with little real spending restraint with the same back-room deals of which Americans have become weary.

    Just this morning, the President signed an executive order creating the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which will operate similarly to the failed Conrad-Greg proposal except that it would be set up by the White House rather than by statute. The goal of the commission is to balance the budget, excluding interest payments, by 2015. The commission will also be expected to make recommendations regarding entitlement reform in order to rein long-term deficits.

    The National Commission created by the President raises concerns beyond those of the Conrad-Gregg proposal, especially since the President’s proposal is even further from securing the public’s trust and taking into account public opinion on future reform.

    The White House commission lacks the necessary broad public consultation and steps to gain public support essential to achieving and sustaining major reforms in entitlements. The deadline for the commission’s recommendations, December 1, thoroughly discounts public opinion, as the date conveniently ensures the recommendation will not affect November elections. This also means lame duck members of Congress who have lost their seats and are no longer held accountable to their constituents will vote on the recommendations of the commission, which will be seen by many Americans as an affront to the will of the people as expressed at the polls.

    The structure of the National Commission is also likely to strain bipartisanship. The commission will consist of 18 members, and 14 votes will be required to vote a recommendation out of the commission. Congressional Majority and Minority leaders will respectively choose six members, and the President will choose the remaining six. Of the President’s appointees, two must be Republicans. The President will without doubt choose Republicans who are likely to fall in step with his vision for reform, leaving only two additional Republican votes needed to pass a recommendation.

    As we’ve pointed out before, an executive commission with no teeth to tackle surging entitlement spending will merely remove pressure on Congress and the President to take true 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, and he can start to get current spending under control by such things as canceling 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 effective results.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    20 Responses to A Toothless Commission On Spending Is No Substitute for True Leadership

    1. Don, Bismarck, ND says:

      What the hell is with the Commission? Don't we elect people to Congress to do that? This is really getting out of hand.

    2. Bobbie Jay says:

      How about specifying what "entitlements" and whom are the entitled besides those truly entitled: the military vets, military and the elderly.

      Speaking of the spending, Mr. Obama put the discipline on everyone before he mentioned the federal government! A man of decency, would've stated the government first. This man has and continues to threaten freedom on a day to day basis.

    3. Bobbie Jay says:

      toothless commission and tongue tied on truth.

      Mr. Obama disciplined everyone on their spending (none of the governments business) and mentioned the federal government last.

    4. Ozzy6900 says:

      Another joke given to us by President Obama and his Traveling Road Show of Fools!

    5. russ in nc usa says:

      At some point the chaos will force Texas to secede. That's when the USA goes the way of the USSR. It's all part of a plan that goes all the way back to the 1960s. You can read all about it. Google "Cloward-Piven Strategy".

    6. JohnR22, michigan says:

      The BRAC commission proved that this process can work. Sadly it's necessary because congressmen simply won't make unpopular decisions that could cost the reelection. The problem with Obama's commission is that their recommendations will not carry the force of law; they're advisory only and will serve no purpose except allowing Obama to claim that his commission offerred a solution and the congress failed to support it. Obama comes out looking good, but nothing gets done.

    7. jack oakes, Panama C says:

      I am 73 have been involved in politics and the congress since I was 17. Does anyone remember any presidential commission that ever arrived at and executed any coherent policy. I don't, including the Warren Commission.

    8. R. L. Hails Sr. P. E says:

      This Commission is nothing more than an admission that Congress is useless. This is a commission, created by the Executive Department to do the job of the Legislature, because the Legislature is in chaos, has no integrity and can not function.

      We have a Constitution which has worked for over two centuries. Our problem is an entire Legislature comprised of sorry politicians, gutless, brain dead, and with zero loyalty to our nation, and its purse strings. In November, every incumbent should be replaced. Next January, every lame duck legislation should be voided. After that the job of boiling down Washington D.C. to a functioning size must begin, starting with the elimination of most of the 35,000 Commissions that are also useless. When the government is right sized, down sized, and terminated to a unemployment rate similar to the private sector, Americans will know this dumb idea, has been withdrawn by a leader,

    9. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      Has anyone else noticed that BHO is not smiling anymore, he also showing the strain of being in over his head, he has lost SOME of his cockieness but he is Too arragant to back down and listen to the PEOPLE, Nov. cannot come too soon, Thank God for the HF and the people like Sean Hannity, MArk Levin, Mike Church, Andrew Wilkow who keep telling it like it is.

    10. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Members of congress refused to establish this very "commission". Yet Obama, through EO, dictates a bipartisian bunch of "scaptgoats" to deflect the blame, when our economy is destroyed and taxes must be raised. Many people mistakingly think Obama is either naive or incompetent. Obama knows exactly what he is doing. Does the word "DICTATOR" comes to anyone's mind. Just consider, we still might have another 3 years of this. There is only one way to save this nation, that is to STOP OBAMA.

    11. nr in mi says:

      I expect this commission will end up the bogey man to blame by Obama, Reid & Pelosi when the 1,000+ times promise is broken of no new taxes if your earnings are under $250,000. Plan on no action by congress to extend any of the Bush tax cuts this year. On senior entitlements, my employers & I have paid into the S.S. trust fund since 1956 for my benefit and Medicare since day 1 of enactment. I must expect current benefit levels to continue. Medicaid, welfare, ADC, etc. is for people who paid very little or never paid taxes. President Johnson is the instigator of a very secure S.S. trust fund surplus being moved to the government's general fund and spent with no repayment plans. Do not vote for any incumbent in the 2010 elections or Obama in 2012.

    12. Angie, WA says:

      Entitlement Spending will become the whipping post for out of control budgeting. Congress has greedily dipped into these funds for decades and have failed to take any meaningful action to control spending or curb fraud and abuse. It has done nothing to provide credible oversight of the financial kingdom and now the average person, yet again, will be the loser.

      Our houses are devalued and our retirement savings cratered, but big business has been saved. I say go back to the drawing board and come up with a reasonable budget – say back to FY2008 spending – before deciding to break promises made to those most reliant upon them.

    13. William, Malta, Ohio says:

      The only GOOD thing about this "executive order" is that it can be rescinded by the next president. Thank God for that! Otherwise, this "executive order" will accomplish absolutely NOTHING! That's because obama has proven that he won't even listen to his OWN advisers. It's that "deafness syndrome" thing he and his disciples are affected by.

    14. Tim Az says:

      Obama has determined what the plan of action will be. The purpose of these commissions is to place the blame on unelected people for the actions Obama intends to take without consequence. He will just blame useful idiots for the implementation of his very own plan. This is nothing new politicians have been escaping responsibility for their actions through commissions for a long time. What we need are politicians who will gladly own their actions with the courage of their convictions.

    15. roger hawkins, india says:

      once again, Obama shows us his total lack of leadership by passing the buck. What does it take, people?

    16. David Williams, Hilt says:

      Can't someone get Alan Simpson to retire and stay retired? Anytime the Democrats need a Republican elder to help them obtain bipartisan cover for their partisan agenda, they just call Al, and he accepts whatever empty honor they offer. You're a dupe, Alan. It's about time someone told you that.

    17. Dennis Social Circle says:

      This country has no leader, what do have is someone that thinks they can do all by spending more and more money. America made one big mistake in 2008. Pel;osi, reid and obama have to be kicked out of office as soon as possible. The rest of Congress better get the message or they can go too. REMEMBER TO VOTE IN 2010!!!!

    18. Marshall-Michigan says:

      This is OBAMA"s way to Tax everyone and say I didd'nt do it,they did! What a

      Wonderful example of How to be a Community Agitator!!!

    19. Drew Page, IL says:

      Only our fearless leader would need a commission to tell him how to stop spending. My suggestion is for the commission to purchase a bullhorn, point it at Congress and Mr. Obama and to scream as loudly as possible into the bullhorn STOP SPENDING!!!

      I could only laugh the other day when I heard Mr. Obama delivering yet another of his speeches telling his audience "WE have got to stop this runaway spending". I thought my ears were playing tricks on me, but then he said it again. "WE have got to stop this runaway government spending". I thought to myself, what do you mean WE, do you have a mouse in your pocket?

    20. Jeanne Stotler Woodb says:

      I know one way to improve the budget, FIRE all the csars, this would save a bundle in salaries, health Ins. etc., then do as he promised go over each dept. and weed out all the ddead wood collecting salaries and benefits just for being there, then go after the waste, and the theft of Gov't property, how many computers and other things have WALKED out of gov't offices and no one looks to see where they went. Instead they create new fed jobs, How many people do they need to screw in a light bulb??" Again "Power corrupts absolutly, Absolute power corrupts all.

    21. Pingback: Stop the Spending Now | Step Down Obama

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