FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
President Obama is backing a bill to create a bipartisan budget commission, which could force Congress to vote on doing something about the country's skyrocketing deficits - the likes of which we haven't seen since World War II.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/25/art.capitol.jpg caption=""]
But here's the catch - this panel would report after the November elections and Congress would vote on its recommendations in December. Wouldn't want lawmakers to have to vote on raising taxes or cutting spending before re-election, right?
President Obama says the deficits didn't "happen overnight and won't be solved overnight." He adds the only way to solve long-term fiscal challenge is with Democrats and Republicans working together.
Haven't we heard this song before? And not even starting the process for at least ten more months guarantees nothing will happen "overnight."
This proposed panel is getting push-back from members of both parties. Most Republicans don't want an entity that would likely lead to tax increases - even though most economists agree that deficits can't be brought under control by only cutting spending.
As things stand now - officials expect the U.S. will hit the current $12.4 trillion cap on borrowing in the the next few weeks; so Democrats are trying to raise this cap by almost $2 trillion. This would allow the government to keep paying its bills through the rest of this year, and - this is key - the Democrats wouldn't have to try and raise the debt ceiling again for November's elections.
The Democrats just increased the debt ceiling by almost $300 billion last month...
Here’s my question to you: How effective is a deficit panel that can't force Congress to act until after the November elections?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Mark from Berwyn, Pennsylvania writes:
This panel will not be effective at all. Zip. This is simply a facade for Obama, our newly created populist president, to show the "working man" he is angry and will fight for us. Bull. Plain and simple, this is politics at its very worst: Make promises to the American voter ONLY after we vote!
Not effective at all. We are in a perpetual campaign for virtually every elected office in Washington. Not what the founders envisioned in our Constitution. Term limits might help but George Washington was right: party politics will be the ruin of our government.
Jim from Wyoming writes:
The deficit panel is highly important because it lets the president, the Congress and the political parties find cover until after the next elections. As a real solution to anything, it's worthless, of course.
Jack, It's like throwing a Dixie cup of water at the towering inferno, Jack. What really annoys me is that while our representatives play partisan politics, our future and our children’s future is getting flushed down the toilet by these clowns. I hope all incumbents in the next election get flushed as well. Maybe then, the ones left standing will get the point.
An appointed panel that is charged with making Congress act on reducing the deficit? Is that constitutional? How and why do the voters deserve another layer of government (unelected) to make the elected officials do their job?
Steve from Virginia Beach, Virginia writes:
About as effective as a President who needs a deficit panel to tell him he's spending too much.