Mr. Obama has put into effect an Executive Order to create a budget deficit-reduction commission – The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. This presidential action follows closely on the heels of the 2011 Budget proposed last week.
The commission has no later than December first of this year to propose recommendations to balance the Federal budget by 2015.
Although this proposal deadline seems distant, and the end result even further in the future, it is expected that the commission will begin its efforts immediately.
President Obama prompted the creation of this bi-partisan commission by way of an executive order on Thursday. Mr. Obama’s order specifically established that the 18 members of the commission be from both Democratic and Republican parties, mandating that no more than four of his six appointees be from the same political party. According to the order, the Senate majority and minority leaders will appoint three members, as will the Speaker of the House and the Minority Leader in the House.
The co-chairs of this commission, appointed by President Obama himself, are Republican Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles. Erskine Bowles previously served as the head of the Small Business Administration under former President Bill Clinton, while Alan Simpson served as the Republican Whip in the Senate for a ten year term ending in 1995. The President remarked on the significance of choosing both a Democrat and a Republican to co-chair the committee, saying in a statement, “And they know how to disagree without being disagreeable, and there’s a sense of civility and a sense that there are moments where you set politics aside to do what’s right.” Clearly, bi-partisanship will play no small role in the commission’s efforts to curb the Federal deficit.
Whether the deadline of December first will avoid the non-action of past bi-partisan efforts, only time will tell. The two tasks appointed to the commission are: to propose budget changes that will improve the growth of entitlement spending and to make recommendations that will stabilize the American economy’s debt-to-GDP ratio. Mr. Obama seems focused on resolving these two budget issues, saying in a statement, “These are tough times and [the federal government] can’t keep spending like they’re not.”
Pundits have already raise questions as to the nature of work the commission will be involved in, when the fiscal year 2011 proposed federal budget has already come with an estimated $1.6 trillion deficit price (projected deficit of $1.6 trillion for 2010, anticipated to drop to $1.3 trillion by 2011).
What do you think, will this debt-curbing commission succeed in curbing the budget deficit by 2015?
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