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Wednesday
Dec012010

Obama's Debt Commission Releases Final Report

Photo Courtesy - Getty(WASHINGTON) -- In a 59-page report released Wednesday entitled The Moment of Truth, President Obama’s federal deficit commission outlines a sweeping plan to cut costs in an effort to nurse the country back to fiscal health. With the nation’s red ink rising in the wake of the recession, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, the commission’s co-chairmen, were tasked by the president with devising a plan to reduce the deficits and get the country off its “unsustainable” fiscal path. The end result is wide-ranging and controversial, and might not even go anywhere, since it needs the support of 14 of 18 panel members to get passed on to Congress.

To dig the country out of debt, the plan put forth by the panel Wednesday calls for drastic changes, such as raising the Social Security retirement age, making cuts to Medicare, and doubling the federal gas tax. It made only minor changes to the earlier draft released by Bowles and Simpson last month.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that the Bowles-Simpson plan will not receive the required 14 votes to send the report to the president and Congress.  The rejection of the proposal should not be seen as a failure to take deficit reduction seriously, but rather that the policy approach adopted by the co-chairs is flawed,” said John Irons, research and policy director of the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank in Washington. “Most fundamentally, the report fails to fully acknowledge the current economic crisis…Despite paying lip-service to a payroll tax holiday, the plan includes no concrete, immediate action to create jobs or to spur economic growth in the near term.”

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