Debt Committee Leaders Paint Gloomy Picture

Linda O’Keefe – On Sunday, the leaders of President Obama’s national-debt commission announced what the Tea Party has been saying since the Stimulus Package of 2009 passed: the current government spending could not be sustained.

Addressing the National Governors Association, the commission leader, Democrat Erskine Bowles said that the debt “is going to destroy the country from within.” The debt will exceed $14 trillion next year and by 2020 the interest alone on the national debt will be $2 trillion.

Bowles heads a 18-member National Commission of Fiscal Responsibility and Reform with Republican Alan Simpson. President Obama has tasked the commission with coming up with a plan by December 1 to reduce annual deficits to 3% of the national economy by 2015.

Alan Simpson said that the days of pork barrel spending are over. With a budget crisis of its own, the federal government is not in a position to help the states with their budget shortfalls. The new unfunded mandates that this progressive congress has imposed on the states make balancing the state budgets a daunting task.

Getting Congress to implement the commission’s suggestion will have such political fallout, one has to wonder if the commission’s efforts will be in vain. The consequences of this “tax and spend” mentality of the Progressives in Congress will be generational and devastating, if allowed to continue.


Debt Committee Leaders Paint Gloomy Picture

By Glen Johnson
Associated Press

BOSTON – The leaders of President Obama’s national-debt commission painted a gloomy picture Sunday as the United States struggles to get its spending under control.

Republican Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles said at a meeting of the National Governors Association that everything needed to be considered – including curtailing popular tax breaks, such as the home-mortgage deduction, and instituting a financial trigger mechanism for gaining Medicare coverage.

The nation’s total federal debt next year is expected to exceed $14 trillion – about $47,000 for every U.S. resident. “This debt is like a cancer,” Bowles said in a sober presentation. “It is truly going to destroy the country from within.”

Simpson noted that the entirety of the nation’s current discretionary spending is consumed by Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security programs.

“The rest of the federal government, including fighting two wars, homeland security, education, art, culture, you name it, veterans, the whole rest of the discretionary budget, is being financed by China and other countries,” Simpson said. China alone holds $920 billion in U.S. IOUs.

Bowles also said Congress had to be ready to accept the commission’s findings. “What we do is not so hard to figure out; it’s the political consequences of doing it that make it really tough,” he said.

Simpson said the depth of the federal government’s spending imbalance limited the help it could provide for strained state budgets. “The pig is dead,” said Simpson, referring to so-called pork-barrel spending that Congress directs to states. “There’s no more bacon.”

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