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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

President’s Bipartisan Fiscal Commission - First Meeting

The President's Bipartisan Fiscal Commission meets for the first time today (April 27, 2010) with President Obama joining them at the start. For a photo and various links see this post from the White House blog. President Obama noted the growing deficit and some measures taken to address it so far such as reinstatement of pay-as-you-go and spending freezes.

But, these are part of the problem in that they are a lot of window dressing and buzz words that won't improve our tax systems or fiscal situation. The PAYGO rule doesn't require everything to be paid for, such as an AMT patch for 2010. The spending freeze only covers a tiny amount of spending and totally ignores the billions of spending that is buried in our tax system and growing.

I think budget reform will only happen when lawmakers and the Administration are more honest about what the situation is and what it will take to reduce the deficit. Most of the public won't want to hear it - that a larger child credit might mean they owe AMT, that allowing larger than necessary home mortgage deductions costs all taxpayers and increases the deficit and debt, and that an exclusion for employer-provided health insurance drives up health care costs and "spending" and should be curtailed. And we shouldn't tolerate politicians bragging about large tax cuts unless they can show they were needed and how their effect on increasing the deficit and debt are going to be addressed so we aren't just spending at the harm of future generations and our economy.

I hope the Commission will be bold and honest with the public and that the public won't dismiss them for saying things we might not want to hear or deal with. We need some "tough love"!

What do you think?

1 comment:

Monica said...

"Tough love" - I couldn't agree more! At some point, the politicians should own up to the fact that the dollars just aren't adding up.