There is a lot to like and dislike in the Debt Commission preliminary proposals. It is certainly not the plan that I would have come up with, however, I support it as a package absent any alternatives.
I am dismayed at the response it has received on Capitol Hill. The GOP doesn't like the revenue component (25%) and some Democrats are complaining about the relatively modest cuts in Social Security and Medicare. Geez Louise! Like it was supposed to be easy? We could balance the budget in five years (not counting interest payments which, of course, should be counted) painlessly, without upsetting any interest groups? Is raising the normal retirement age for Social Security to 69 in 2050 really a problem in 2010? When we are borrowing 40% of our spending?
And there is talk of surrender - a complete extension of the Bush Tax Cuts from soup to nuts. The Democrats have a Lame Duck session with large majorities and they do not believe they can beat a Mitch McConnell Filibuster!?
Our political class really is deteriorating. They are either not in touch with reality or grossly irresponsible. I think the White House would support the Debt Commission package if it were to reach the president's desk. Unfortunately, that is not going to happen.
I guess we get to wait for the real crisis - the one that will close the book on American global leadership and usher in an era of austerity unseen since the thirties. At this point, I simply do not see a more likely scenario.