Deficit Commission Draft is Out Today

On February 18, 2010, President Obama, by executive order, established the “National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. That commission was charged with identifying policies to improve our nation’s fiscal situation in the medium term, and to achieve fiscal sustainability over the lung run. You can follow the commission’s actions on their website,

“Specifically, the Commission shall propose recommendations designed to balance the budget, excluding interest payments on the debt, by 2015. In addition, the Commission shall propose recommendations that meaningfully improve the long-run fiscal outlook, including changes to address the growth of entitlement spending and the gap between the projected revenues and expenditures of the Federal Government.”

That Commission was meet as a whole once a month while Congress was in session. They were charged to vote on a final report containing a set of recommendations to achieve its mission no later than December 1, 2010. However, that vote has been delayed and is now scheduled to be held on Friday, December 3, 2010. The final report will require the approval of at least 14 of the Commission’s 18 members.

Commission Members


  • Sen. Alan Simpson. Former Republican Senator from Wyoming.
  • Erskine Bowles, Chief of Staff to President Clinton


Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) 202-224-2651 202-224-9412 ContactForm
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA 31) 202-225-6235 202-225-2202 ContactForm
Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI 4) 202-225-3561 202-225-9679 Not available to non-MI4
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) 202-224-5754 202-224-6008 ContactForm
Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) 202-224-2043 202-224-7776 ContactForm
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) 202-224-6142 202-228-1375 ContactForm
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) 202-224-2152 202-228-0400 ContactForm
Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) 202-224-3324 N/A ContactForm
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX 5) 202-225-3484 202-226-4888 Not available to non-TX5
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI 1) 202-225-3031 202-225-3393 Not available to non-WI1
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL 9) 202-225-2111 202-226-6890 ContactForm
Rep. John Spratt (D-SC 5) 202-225-5501 202-225-0464 Not available to non-SC5
Andrew Stern, President, Service Employees International Union Not available Not available
Alice Rivlin, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute and former Director, Office of Management & Budget 202-797-6121 Not available
Ann Fudge, Former CEO, Young & Rubicam Brands Not available Not available Not available
David Cote, Chairman and CEO, Honeywell International Corp Operator 973-455-2000 Corp. Fax 973-455-4807 Not available

Executive Director (non-voting?):

  • Bruce Reed, Chief Domestic Policy Adviser to President Clinton

The Co-Chairs shocked the nation with their pre-release of the Co-Chair’s proposal on 11/10/2010 (Draft, SavingsDoc) . Today, they published their final recommendation, “The Moment of Truth” proposal that will be voted on this Friday, 12/3/2010.

The revised plan resembles the original November 10 draft in many ways, but cuts discretionary spending more aggressively, offers more alternatives to reforming the tax code, and softens proposed changes in Social Security pensions.

From page 14:

We propose a six-part plan to put our nation back on a path to fiscal health, promote economic growth, and protect the most vulnerable among us. Taken as a whole, the plan will:

  • Achieve nearly $4 trillion in deficit reduction through 2020, more than any effort in the nation’s history.
  • Reduce the deficit to 2.3% of GDP by 2015 (2.4% excluding Social Security reform), exceeding President’s goal of primary balance (about 3% of GDP).
  • Sharply reduce tax rates, abolish the AMT, and cut backdoor spending in the tax code.
  • Cap revenue at 21% of GDP and get spending below 22% and eventually to 21%.
  • Ensure lasting Social Security solvency, prevent the projected 22% cuts to come in 2037, reduce elderly poverty, and distribute the burden fairly.
  • Stabilize debt by 2014 and reduce debt to 60% of GDP by 2023 and 40% by 2035.

How they propose those goals is raising quite a few eyebrows and is generating a sizeable volume of angry language and hot air. This is one report everybody truly needs to read. This affects ALL of us in one way or another and it’s not something we should arbitrarily leave to others to take care of, expecting that they will vote in what we believe our best interests to be. If you disagree with what’s in this report, get vocal! Call your Congressional representatives. Call members of the Commission before Friday’s vote. Blog about what you like and dislike. Post on Facebook, and use Twitter to let your friends and followers know your positions and where you draw your line.

In a symbolic gesture, it calls for cutting the budgets of the White House and Congress by 15 percent and immediately freezing the salaries of members of Congress, along with a three-year freeze on non-military federal worker pay.


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