FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
President Obama's deficit commission may be dead on arrival.
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Apparently the differences among members are so great that the toothless, bipartisan commission canceled its last scheduled meeting tomorrow. Instead, they'll meet one-on-one and try to twist some more arms before the panel's final recommendations are due Wednesday.
A piece on Politico.com asks if the panel was doomed from the start. After months of reports about how bitterly divided the commission members are - it's hard to imagine that 14 of the 18 members will come to a consensus on much of anything meaningful.
And, this being Washington, there's plenty of finger pointing to go around.
There are the Republicans who co-sponsored the bill to create this commission and then voted against it.
Some even wonder if President Obama himself designed the commission to fail... to save him from making the tough decisions.
He set the December 1 deadline - which meant decisions about the deficit wouldn't factor into the midterm elections. Also, the president has ruled out tax increases for 98 percent of taxpayers.
As for the panel itself, Republican members have made it clear they don't want to consider tax increases... while Democrats don't want to touch Social Security - leaving precious little common ground.
All this makes it increasingly difficult to believe this commission will make a serious dent in our $13 trillion-plus deficit.
Nonetheless, some close to the commission are sounding upbeat - saying they've made significant progress in the last week and that they've "got a chance."
Don't bet on it.
Here’s my question to you: Was the deficit commission a pointless exercise from the start?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Mike in Denver writes:
Let's see, a government-funded group tasked to find out where the government is wasting money? Their commission should have topped the list. Everyone knows where the problems are, but no one wants to get their hands dirty solving the problems.
When the president, Senate or Congress doesn't have the political will or backing from their voters to actually DO something after an event like 9-11, they just "kick the can down the road" with a really big show commission. History shows us that very few of their "recommendations" actually ever get implemented. It's nothing but "political theater" that is a waste of time AND money.
John in Alabama writes:
The only pointless thing about the deficit commission is the need for 14 votes out of 18 to bring it forward for final consideration of Congress. I believe 10 votes should be enough for government. Changes to the entitlement programs should affect those entering the work force in 2014.
I just saw the senator-elect from Illinois this morning on national TV. He said he wanted tax cuts for the rich because otherwise the country would go into a double dip recession. In the next sentence, he said the unemployment benefits extensions had to be paid for with other social program cuts. If we keep electing these morons, any commission or reasonable idea is pointless.
Paulette in Pennsylvania writes:
It is a total waste of time. It exists only so Obama can say he did "something".
Joe in Houston writes:
Re-election requires scapegoats to excuse unpopular decisions. Therefore, the deficit commission is not pointless.
Cheryl in Bluffton, South Carolina writes:
At least the commission's findings have started a national conversation about realistic ways to cut the deficit. Will the politicians treat us like grownups and actually implement some of the good ideas put forward? One can only dream.