Apr 24

National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Report

President Obama created the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to address our nation’s fiscal challenges. The Commission is charged with identifying policies to improve the fiscal situation in the medium term and to achieve fiscal sustainability over the long run. Specifically, the Commission shall propose recommendations designed to balance the budget, excluding interest payments on the debt, by 2015. In addition, the Commission shall propose recommendations that meaningfully improve the long-run fiscal outlook, including changes to address the growth of entitlement spending and the gap between the projected revenues and expenditures of the Federal Government.

National-Commission-on-Fiscal-Responsibility-and-ReformThe Commission will meet as a whole once a month while Congress is in session. The Commission will vote on a final report containing a set of recommendations to achieve its mission no later than December 1, 2010. The final report will require the approval of at least 14 of the Commission’s 18 members.

Commission Members
Sen. Alan Simpson. Former Republican Senator from Wyoming.
Erskine Bowles, Chief of Staff to President Clinton

Executive Director:
Bruce Reed, Chief Domestic Policy Adviser to President Clinton

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA 31)
Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI 4)
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)
Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND)
David Cote, Chairman and CEO, Honeywell International
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Ann Fudge, Former CEO, Young & Rubicam Brands
Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH)
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX 5)
Alice Rivlin, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute and former Director, Office of Management & Budget
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI 1)
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL 9)
Rep. John Spratt (D-SC 5)
Andrew Stern, President, Service Employees International Union

Our Guiding Principles and Values

In establishing this Commission, the President gave us a two-part mission: to bring the budget into primary balance (balance excluding interest costs) in 2015, and to meaningfully improve the long-run fiscal outlook. Our recommendations accomplish both of these goals, while keeping the following core principles in mind:

We all have a patriotic duty to make America better off tomorrow than it is today. Americans are counting on us to pull together, not pull apart, to put politics aside and do the right thing for future generations. Our country’s economic and national security depend on us putting our fiscal house in order.

Don’t disrupt the fragile economic recovery. We need a comprehensive plan now to reduce the debt over the long term. But budget cuts should start gradually so they don’t interfere with the ongoing economic recovery. Growth is essential to restoring fiscal strength and balance.

Cut and invest to promote economic growth and keep America competitive. We should cut red tape and unproductive government spending that hinders job creation and growth. At the same time, we must invest in education, infrastructure, and high-value research and development to help our economy grow, keep us globally competitive, and make it easier for businesses to create jobs.
Protect the truly disadvantaged. We must ensure that our nation has a robust, affordable, fair, and sustainable safety net. Benefits should be focused on those who need them the most.

Cut spending we cannot afford – no exceptions. We must end redundant, wasteful, and ineffective federal spending, wherever we find it. We should cut all excess spending – including defense, domestic programs, entitlement spending, and spending in the tax code.

Demand productivity and effectiveness from Washington. We must use fiscal restraint to promote reforms and efficiencies that force government to produce better results and save money. We should insist on consistent productivity growth in our government.
Reform and simplify the tax code. The tax code is rife with inefficiencies, loopholes, incentives, tax earmarks, and baffling complexity. We need to lower tax rates, broaden the base, simplify the tax code, and bring down the deficit. We need to reform the corporate tax system to make America the best place to start and grow a business and create jobs.

Don’t make promises we can’t keep. Our country has tough choices to make. We need to be willing to tell Americans the truth: We cannot afford to continue spending more than we take in, and we cannot continue to make promises we know full well we cannot keep.

The problem is real, and the solution will be painful. We must stabilize and then reduce the national debt, or we could spend $1 trillion a year in interest alone by 2020. There is no easy way out of our debt problem, so everything must be on the table. A sensible, realistic plan requires shared sacrifice – and Washington must lead the way and tighten its belt.

Keep America sound over the long run. We need to implement policies today to ensure that future generations have retirement security, affordable health care, and financial freedom. To do that, we must make Social Security solvent and sound, reduce the long-term growth of health care spending, and tackle the nation’s overwhelming debt burden.

Read the full report: Fiscal Commission


1 comment

    • Bill Ascherfeld on May 17, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Ladies and Gentlemen: First, a little about me, so you know that I know something about what I’m talking about.

    I am a Stanford University Alumnus. While there, I studied German, Civil engineering physics, Solid Geometry math, History of Western Civilization and Economics. I received my BA Degree in the Tri-minor of Economics with a specialty in statistics, Political Science, specializing in Geo-Politics, and History, specializing in Mezzo- American Culture from the Conquistadores through Colonial Mexico at San Diego State College. I also took courses in Spanish, Abnormal Psychology, and pre commission contract Air Force Training.

    In 1956 – 57 I spent a year in Germany with The Third Armored Division after Armored Infantry training at Fort Knox, KY.

    I am now a retired real estate broker, and political commentator on the web.

    I am familiar with some parts of The Constitution for the Republic of the United States of America, some of its Amendments, parts of The Declaration of Independence and a few SCOUS precedents, though I never studied Law, per se.

    Congressman Ron Paul says, as president, he would save $1 Trillion in the budget in his first year in office. He laid out his plan. You can check with him about the details, but, a rough overview follows:

    He would open the federal lands in The Bakken, AKA, The Williston Basin. He would also open the federal lands in the Green River Basin for oil exploration and recovery.

    When John F. Kennedy was elected in 1960 he wanted an American man on the moon by the end of the decade. He got it done. When FDR was told, during WWII we needed an Atomic bomb before the Germans got theirs; He started the Manhattan Project and got it done. When Harry Truman took over after FDR’s untimely death, and, after WWII, was told we needed strong allies in Europe to counter-balance the Soviet threat, he started The Marshal Plan, and got it done!

    When Barack Obama came into office in 2009 facing a National Debt that had grown to $8 trillion over an expanse that included, a civil war, 2 world wars, a great depression several “police actions” like Korea and Viet Nam, over a 140+ years, he doubled it in 3 years.

    Almost everything Mr. Obama has done or gotten Congress to do over the past 3.5 years has made the current recession worse. There are so many people unemployed for so long, they don’t count a lot of them anymore. Most of the laws he has signed and many of the abundant Executive Orders he has given have been unconstitutional in whole or in part. His Presidency has been unconstitutional including Speaker Pelosi’s and Pres. of the Senate Harry Reid’s confirmation of his eligibility to the Electoral College.

    But that is not for us to handle here. We need only to deal with The National Debt, and a reasonably workable budget.

    I only wanted to point out that the best leaders get things done, sooner and better than anyone would have believed when they started, rather than saying, “I’ll take it under advisement, and get back to you sometime next year”. Or, “Wait until after the election and I can be more flexible.”

    Many people have said, “Oh, in order to get to oil independence in this country, even if we started right now, it would take 10 years.” I don’t know where they get their ideas, but I have talked to oil people and they say, “Oh, 10 years is a foolishly long time… It takes 3 months after discovery to bring a well into full production.

    If we start now, on the barren mud flats of the coastal plain of ANWAR, where there would be no “endangered species”, to worry about, we could be pumping more oil through the pipeline already serving Perdue Bay by Thanksgiving, if we are still permitted to celebrate that holiday!

    Not only oil, but a 2,000 year supply of natural gas is available in the Bakken and The Green River Basin. We have more proven oil reserves right there than all of OPEC put together.

    We just have a president who has been told by his handlers and Foreign oil interests that the sky would fall if he permitted The United States of America to be self-sufficient in oil and gas.

    It was 1942, shortly after Pearl Harbor when I became knowledgeable about “earning”, “spending”, “saving”, “rationing” and war.

    You can’t spend what you don’t earn; You have to save for a rainy day; Ration things in short supply so our troops can win the war caused by a failure of diplomatic relations.

    One way to solve the national debt situation is to turn out the whole government. Have We, The People FIRE all Members of Congress and the president for impersonating a federal officer (CiC), treason, fraud, and forgery (of government documents). Misprision of treason, fraud and forgery (on the part of all the members of Congress).

    Then, elect a whole new Congress and a new President. With them not having anything to do with the creation of the debt, they can “Not recognize it.”, in a similar manner as to what the citizens of Iceland did with their government.

    That might be a little harsh, but effective, but probably is not within our purview here.

    So, let’s get on with it. Oil experts have been telling us we can bring Sweet Texas Crude from the Bakken and, now other sites throughout the Lower 48 to market for about $20 a barrel. That will sell on the world market at @ $60.00 to $80 or $90 a barrel for all the barrels we do not use locally.

    That is a lot of income that comes from oil royalties, not taxes on sales, income, real estate or Estates.

    Now for the savings: The U. S. should have nothing more to do with the UN or any of its agencies. The UN should be kicked out of the U.S.

    The UN has produced an “Agenda for the 21st Century”, politely called, Agenda-21. It spells out in great detail what it expects to accomplish in the United Stats.

    Turn 50% of the land mass into “Wildlands” — No tresspassing for humans. Another 25% would be “buffer lands” — very little human activity. We would all be forced to live in “walkable communities”– 23 story (low income appartment) complexes. No cars, Etc.

    That would save a bundle.

    Congress should close The Fed and coin or print our money itself, as the Constitution calls for.

    Congress should close down 20 or more bureaus, agencies, and departments.

    Start with the DOE (Department of Energy). It was put together 42 years ago with the sole purpose of getting the U. S. independent of Foreign Oil! It has done nothing in the past 42 years but grows and adds to the cost of government.

    The Federal Department of Education. Education should be the purview of the states, not the Congress. We should be teaching our youngsters English, English Composition, Reading for understanding, math, science, and history, including a year in high school about the beginnings and the trials and tribulations of this country when it was young, and a course in the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution for the Republic of The United States, the Federalist Papers, and the Bill of Rights, at least.

    Close down the Internal Revenue Service. It is unconstitutional to levy a tax on earnings. Once the government is getting its reasonable royalties on oil and gas found on government owned land, there shall be no need for personal or sales taxes.

    Close down the Department of Homeland Security. That is only an inept redundancy on law enforcement already in place.

    Close down the EPA.

    That would put an abrupt end to the sweeping private property confiscation in the plan for UN’s “Sustainable” development; “Sustainable” resources; “Sustainable” is the UN ICLEI (look it up) and Agenda-21 buz word.

    I don’t know about you, but, 2,000 years worth of oil and gas would take us in quite a “Sustainable” fashion to a time when we might have discovered or developed REAL “Green” energy, like Di-Lithium Crystals, or something.

    Until then, unless you can integrate windmills or solar panels on the wings and air frames, we need a lot of oil just to keep our airlines flying.

    Those few will save a whole raft of money, and that is only for starters.

    I have an alphabetical list of government agencies. Most I have never heard of before, and I have only gone through A, M, and W, and I have counted over 100.

    Most, if not all of the things I have talked about to raise money for government or save money have never before been touched upon by 99% of Congress or its advisors or consultants.


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