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Sunday
Nov142010

Deficit Commission Is 'Shock Therapy,' Sen. Conrad Says

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- A top senator on the president's deficit commission is standing strong in the face of fierce backlash against the commission's draft recommendations.

"You know, a certain amount of this is shock therapy," Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., told ABC News on Sunday. "There are different options and, of course, what everybody has fastened on is the most extreme of the options. But, look, the important thing for people to know is that we are borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend. That's utterly unsustainable. It can't continue much longer, so it's got to be dealt with."

Asked if he would be willing to get on board with one of the more controversial parts of the proposal -- eliminating so-called tax expenditures -- Conrad said, "There is one proposal that eliminates all the tax preferences, all the tax deductions, all the tax exclusions, and uses 90 percent of the revenue to reduce rates," he said. "I don't favor that approach.”

"Fundamentally, if we're going to raise revenue, I don't think the way to do it is to raise rates. I think the way to do it is to eliminate some of the loopholes that exist in the system," the senator said.

The co-chairmen of National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, Wednesday released a draft proposal for reducing the nation's deficit and debt. It called for substantial cuts in spending, cutbacks in Medicare and Social Security payments, along with some tax increases.

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