What Democrats proved in 2009
With a charming leader at the helm and a full deck of Democrats in the House and Senate, Democrats accomplished little. I would not blame the President and Democrats for fiscal inheritance, nor would I criticize their intentions to fix it, however, good intentions don’t make good governance.
Transparency and accountability hinge on visibility of the facts describing the situation.
Government has limited capacity for change and improvement. What is America’s limit? If we continue to manage as if there is no limit, then we become over obligated to the extent we don’t know it, or by the time we figure it out, it is too late.
Now, the President and Congress say they want a special commission to address how to reduce the deficit and balance the budget. Wait a minute that is your job isn’t it? What this means is that government is unable to act in a bipartisan manner without establishing a layer of bureaucracy to accomplish this. That is another tax – expense – to accomplish something that we have already paid for.
You folks in Washington had better awaken to the smell of Massachusetts – it smells a little like tea with a hint of Sam Adams.
“White House, Democratic lawmakers cut deal on deficit commission
By Lori Montgomery
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Faced with growing alarm over the nation's soaring debt, the White House and congressional Democrats tentatively agreed Tuesday to create an independent budget commission and to put its recommendations for fiscal solvency to a vote in Congress by the end of this year.
Under the agreement, President Obama would issue an executive order to create an 18-member panel that would be granted broad authority to propose changes in the tax code and in the massive federal entitlement programs -- including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security -- that threaten to drive the nation's debt to levels not seen since World War II.
The accord comes a week before Obama is scheduled to deliver his first State of the Union address to a nation increasingly concerned about his stewardship of the economy and the federal budget. After a year in which he advocated spending hundreds of billions of dollars on a huge economic stimulus package and a far-reaching overhaul of the health-care system, Obama has pledged to redouble his effort to rein in record budget deficits even as he has come under withering Republican attack.
The commission would deliver its recommendations after this fall's congressional elections, postponing potentially painful decisions about the nation's fiscal future until after Democrats face the voters. But if the commission approves a deficit-reduction plan, Congress would have to act on it quickly under the agreement, forged late Tuesday in a meeting with Vice President Biden, White House budget director Peter R. Orszag, and Democratic lawmakers led by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (Md.).
'This is essential'
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), who has long advocated creation of an independent budget panel, called the agreement an "understanding in concept" that holds the promise of at last addressing the nation's most wrenching budget problems.
"This goes to the question of the country's credibility with managing its own finances. This is essential for the nation," Conrad said.
The commission is likely to form the centerpiece of Democrats' efforts to reduce projected budget deficits, which have soared into record territory in the aftermath of the worst recession in a generation. Government spending to bail out the troubled financial sector and to stimulate economic activity have combined with sagging tax collections to push last year's budget deficit to a record $1.4 trillion. The budget gap is projected to be just as large this year and to hover close to $1 trillion a year for much of the next decade.
Deficit spending, in turn, has caused the nation's accumulated debt to swell to dangerous levels. Last month, Congress voted to increase the legal debt limit to $12.4 trillion, a record figure that the Treasury expects to exceed early this year. The deal on the budget commission clears the way for Congress to approve an even larger increase in the legal limit on borrowing, to well over $13 trillion, a figure that Democrats hope will see the Treasury through the rest of 2010.”