The Catfood Commission votes Wednesday on proposed Social Security cuts, so tomorrow is a national call-in day to Congress.
Since Old Man Simpson and his buddy Erskine Bowles are pushing hard, it’s vital that we push back:
The chairmen of the White House’s debt-reduction commission are making last-minute changes to their provocative early draft in an effort to broaden support before a crucial Wednesday vote, people familiar with the matter said.
The co-chairmen, Democrat Erskine Bowles and former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson, need 14 of the 18 members of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to support their proposal in order to issue a formal recommendation, which could then be voted on by Congress before the end of the year.
The commission’s vote is largely symbolic but will go a long way toward determining how, and how quickly, the U.S. might start addressing its ballooning national debt.
Precise details of the changes couldn’t be learned. Broadly, they are designed to incorporate suggestions made by some of the members of the commission. Some aides spent much of last week trying to hone ideas and gauge potential support, with members communicating by cellphone.
Several Republicans on the panel have privately pushed for more spending cuts and other changes to tax policy. One of their concerns: the changes to the tax code, which would raise the amount some pay, are permanent, while many of the spending cuts are temporary. Democrats, for their part, want more cuts from defense appropriations.
They’re so predictable, aren’t they? They’re worried that rich people will get hit with permanent taxes, while spending on social programs might — gasp!! — increase later.
The co-chairmen have spent days trying to determine if they can incorporate the ideas to win broader support ahead of Wednesday’s vote. Several people familiar with the process said it was still impossible to gauge the outcome.