Update on deficit commission – chairs' report falls

Good news from labor-affiliated Alliance for Retired Americans:

The President’s Fiscal Commission suffered a defeat Friday morning, as 11 of 18 panel members voted to support their far-reaching deficit-cutting plan.  However, 14 of the 18 members of the Commission needed to vote for it to make it an official recommendation, and Commission Co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson acknowledged that Congress will not consider their work at least until next year. “Retirees temporarily dodged a bullet today when Commission members rejected their Co-chairs’ proposal to balance the budget on the backs of retirees,” said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance. According to The Washington Post, the panel’s final blueprint for rebalancing the federal budget closely resembles the plan the Co-chairs released earlier. Like the original, it offers a prescription for reducing deficits by nearly $4 trillion by the end of the decade, in large part by slashing domestic spending, including Social Security. Future retirees would face significant sacrifices, including higher Medicare premiums and a retirement age of 69 in 2075.  The proposal would also cut the annual Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment, and cut benefits overall for middle-income earners by 17% to 36%. The early retirement age would rise to 64 from 62. The final package would balance the budget more quickly than the original, wiping out annual deficits by 2035.

This is all great news.

Reality check

For all the "professional leftists" who have been on a rampage against the President: I am checking my notes on this "lame duck" session of Congress. I see the President lobbying – repeatedly and vigorously – for DADT repeal, passage of the DREAM Act, passage of the Pigford II/Corbell settlements, passage of the START treaty, extension of unemployment benefits, limits on the tax cut extension, but I don't seem to find any thing on him lobbying in favor of the deficit commission chairs' report. Hmmmmm.

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