Ignoring the Debt Doctor
The Presidents bi-partisan debt commission is finished with its' diagnosis and the patient is very sick. It is recommending a treatment and lawmakers are hearing it, but they are balking.
The growing, crushing national debt, which is now $13.8 trillion dollars, is a sickness that is killing this country. If we don't start taking our medicine, the debt will shrivel our economy. So it's hard to understand why the bi-partisan debt commission on Friday could not come up with the minimum 14 votes to send the “cure” to Congress for a simple up or down vote. The elections in November sent a message that no one in Washington is hearing and it's not just the Democrats.
The Commission's final report is tough and painful. It includes a wide range of suggested spending cuts and tax changes that would cut $4 trillion from projected deficits between now and 2010. It would also mean a radical overhaul of the tax code, increasing the Social Security retirement age and make deep cuts in defense spending.
Because of the vote Friday, members of Congress can now hide behind their filtered rhetoric about doing the right thing and not actually vote on the tough decisions that the Commission is suggesting.
If you went to the doctor and he told you cancer was killing you and you ignored his treatment plan, you would die. The bipartisan failure to find the 14 votes necessary to force a vote is akin to ignoring the treatment. The next real chance to do something about the growing debt will come in February when the President must submit his 2012 budget proposal. If Congress and the Commission do not have the guts to cut and change to save the patient, maybe the President does. The Commission report might provide a blueprint for a real budget proposal and help the President convince Americans that someone in Washington can run a budget like they do at home. If you don't have the money, don't spend it.