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The New Debt Commission – Another round of Gridlock?

The new debt commission will be hot in the news again over the next few months beginning probably sometime in October.   Many politicians and observers have stated that the commission really needs to have recommendations in place by early November in order for Congress to debate and vote on their recommendations.

The makeup of the commission is one half Republican and one half Democrat. Some of the Republican members have already upfront taken revenue increases, a euphemism for tax increases,  off the table.    Unless this is a negotiating position, highly doubtful since these members know their marching orders from leadership, Democratic members will have to upfront concede arguably one of two solutions to the long term debt problem.

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Democratic members were under renewed intense criticism in the aftermath of the debt ceiling fight by liberal groups for having offered so much in entitlement reform while getting back nothing in revenue increases.

It is difficult to see how the commission is going to make recommendations on these issues,  since these are the same politicians.   While they will make themselves and Congress look foolish to the public if they don’t make any recommendations, Congress could not agree on the debt ceiling when a partial Government shutdown was at hand, so how can it be expected these commission members, who were picked from Congress, will agree on a plan?

Their only cover to propose an agreement with elements each side will despise, is to promote the fact that barbaric automatic cuts each side knows they will hate even more will happen, if they do not agree.

The consequences of such cuts may do more damage to their political standing than if they came up with a plan.    Deep and real cuts to Medicare and Social Security will make an enemy of many Seniors when they really hit.

Will they have the courage to make proposals that will cause fury towards them among their base?   Not much was displayed during the debt ceiling debacle that provides any evidence they will do this.

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