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Debt Panel Co-Chair Says Lawmakers More Concerned About Votes Than Cuts

February 9, 2011 by  

Debt panel co-chair says lawmakers more concerned about votes than cutsOne of the leaders of the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform has accused Congressional lawmakers of playing politics instead of tackling the Federal deficit with substantial proposals.

Former United States Senator Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) appeared on CNN's State of the Union on Feb. 6. He said that politicians need to start digging into the "big four" — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and defense — instead of targeting cuts that appeal to their voter base, such as earmarks, foreign aid or Congressional pensions.

"That's just sparrow belch in the midst of the typhoon," Simpson told the media outlet.

Last year, Simpson and Erskine Bowles, a Democrat, were appointed by President Barack Obama to craft a proposal that addressed America's debt. The duo introduced their ideas in December — which included $4 trillion in cuts over the next decade — but lawmakers have been cautious to support plans that cut defense spending, reform the tax code and revamp social security.

Simpson said that re-election aspirations prevent necessary reform because legislators are worried that endorsing controversial cuts could alienate voters.

In an op-ed for The New York Times on Feb. 6, White House Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew revealed that Obama has conceded several spending cuts in his 2012 budget proposal. Lew wrote that Obama will slash his community service block grants, which are allocated by cities and towns to grassroots groups, by approximately $350 million. In addition, the President will propose a $125 million reduction in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which supports environmental cleanup. 

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  • Robin from Arcadia, IN

    Two words… Fair Tax

  • Pristina

    Another two words ” National Sales Tax ” ONLY !!!!

  • Ellen

    The commission came up with bad ideas and that’s why they couldn’t get enough votes to proceed. Medicare is already bare bones for the doctor and the patient and they want to cut more. Many of us have paid into Soc. Sec. for 50 years and can’t retire until age 68. Instead of managing the fund, the govt robbed it and now wants to cut SS benefits. They want to eliminate the mortgage interest deduction which will hit the middle class the hardest, as anyone over a certain income ($150,000 ?) already has their deduction reduced or eliminated. They want to tax the medical insurance provided by employers which will hit unions the hardest. None of us had any control over the price paid for our medical care and Obamacare has required all insurance plans to provide extra coverage – which raised premiums – which would raise our taxes. The one item they could & should manage is Medicaid. If they changed welfare laws, Medicaid costs would drop dramatically. And, the cycle of poverty would finally be broken. That in turn impacts schools, crime, prisons, etc.

    • Lastmanstanding

      Ellen. Great points. Medicaid needs to be abolished. My wife is a provider. The true stories that I hear daily would piss off the pope. Women (18 and up) with 1-8 kids. (Most to different fathers) They have a car, a place to live, food for the kids, health care for the kids and now themselves. They (these women and all of the kids) have the finest tech. that money can buy. I-phones, I-pods, etc. The only way that we can keep her in business is to lower her overhead with the cut’s in reimbursement. We are to the end of that rope.

      We own 2 businesses (in a small town) and can barely cover costs, our living expenses and we live very modest. These women do not even work!!!

      They can also get any type of further educ. for free but they don’t want that. They may have to get a job. Why ruin a good thing?

      Everyone needs to get on the fed govt’s ass and keep up the pressure.

      I am praying that it will work…

      It is all paid for by the

      • Ellen

        I believe they should limit welfare to 1 child per woman. I have 2 kids because that’s what I could afford. Why is someone without the ability to support themselves having 8 kids? I also believe they should make the fathers financially responsible. There’s no doubting who the dad is since DNA can prove it. If mom wants to collect welfare, she must name dad on the birth certificate. This would drastically cut welfare costs and help these people who keep themselves in poverty. This would eliminate the baby daddy cycle because these men aren’t going to have 10 babies with 10 different women if they have to support them. It may appear heartless at first glance, but it would help them get out of the cycle of poverty that they continually repeat.

        • barbm

          “Why is someone without the ability to support themselves having 8 kids?” because, as long as they have at least 1 child under the age of 5, they don’t have to get a job or go to school. and because the govt gives them more money and more food stamps for every one they have. they should NOT give another penny if the woman is on welfare when she has a baby. she should just have to stretch a dollar til it screams or tears. maybe they could give up the $100 tenis shoes the kids grow out of in 3 months or quit buying sodas and junk food. and maybe we should cut the food stmaps during the school year since the kids get 2 free meals at school. and they should darn sure have to pass a drug test to qualify since i do to get a job. if they can’t, take the kids away since it’s an unhealthy environment in which to rear them.

          • Ellen

            Let’s remember to add to the 2 free meals a day that 20 million kids will also get a 3rd meal each day thanks to Michelle Obama. Apparently, feeding this extra meal is a requirement to making school lunches healthy.

        • Aix Sponsa

          Most of the Daddies make their money illegally, and therefore have no declared income to garnish. How can we put a guy in jail for being unemployed? Is that called debtors’ prison? We could use the FEMA camps to house minority child support evaders.mmmmmmm?

        • Aix Sponsa

          What are WE really saying people? Sure, there are inequities, problems, and WE feel that we are being “had” by the system. What do we as Americans expect to do. Allow innocent children to be malnourished and maybe starve to death because their mommy is a worthless whore and their daddy is a drug dealer? Trust me, the children did NOT pick their parents. Think about what you believe.

          I am a white conservative male who is almost retirement age, totally pushed out of the workforce because of the crashing economy and younger people who will work for 1/3 my wage. I cannot get another job because the prospective employers think that I will scram if I get a higher paying job offer. I’m too educated, too skilled, and too old. So I am living on 1/8 of my former income. Am I a crybaby?

          • http://naver samurai

            Whhhhhhhhaaaaaaahhhhhhh! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

      • Richard Pawley

        This isn’t new. In one of my books I mention a 27 year old white woman I met in the 1970′s when I was working 65 and 70 hour weeks and she had six children by four different men and while I don’t know what her life style was like I do know she drove a much finer car than I could afford. As some readers on this site know I wrote my first copyrighted article, a 16 page paper on The Coming Financial Crisis, in 1990 and in it I predicted that one day we were going to have 300% inflation. Some of you may have guessed if you have been reading here for the past few years that I am also a Christian. Well, in 1992, I was praying in my kitchen and I clearly heard the Holy Spirit say “There will be more than 300% inflation, more like 450%.” For those who are not followers of Jesus you would have to read the gospels and ACTS to understand all this, however, the point is that I contacted the FED in December because I was curious how much inflation we have had since 1992 and I was told that we have had 57%. That seemed low to me but if accurate then I fully expect that we will have more than 250% to go, and prices of food and fuel and things we actually use, will easily triple. If the Congress is fearful of cutting where it really needs to be cut then I can easily see where this big time inflation is coming from. In both my 2006 autobiography, recently updated, and my book on what is really going to happen, I compared how we seem to be making all the mistakes that Rome made in her last days. It may not be the end of the world but it will be the end of life as we have known it if congress doesn’t shape up. As I’m sure everyone knows the Treasury is just creating $70,000 MILLION DOLLARS a month out of thin air and rumors are increasing and from some quite reliable sources, that the gold in Fort Knox is legally no longer ours, but for national security reasons we can’t be told. All of these things tend to make me think that we are headed for some kind of perfect economic storm which will be written about for as long as men are able to write freely. If the earth lasts until we have mining colonies on the moon they will still be writing about the world wide economic collapse that happened in the beginning of the 21st Century. May God help us all (as the government will not be able to if they don’t stop the waste and spending and get the debt under control). Remember though, God feeds the birds of the air but He doesn’t drop worms into their mouths. Dum Spiro Spero!

        • Aix Sponsa

          Based on gold value, the stock market is down 80% in the last 11 years. Life as we know it IS going to change after 2012. The crash is inevitable. period.

          You said, “if congress doesn’t shape up”. The government is having their last party of eat, drink, and make merry, because we can’t STOP it. It is all gonna fall anyway.

          At BEST, the collapse can be delayed until 2015.

          Think that I am wrong. Hide and watch.

    • 45caliber

      Ellen:

      But if they changed welfare laws, they would be alienating the largest voting block the Democrats have!

      • Lastmanstanding

        45caliber, you are 100% correct. It is absolutely that simple. My grandmother told me over 30 years ago that your vote was the most powerful thing that you possessed. We are all now finding that out.

  • TIME

    Wow this one is loaded. Lets first off get a few points down.
    I can’t help but laugh at the term’s used as well the spinning of outlandish Rhetoric that has become so common place within the media and political arena.

    On that note anyone who has any ability to think out side the box can clearly see. Semantics and word games have become standard fair for the media and the Politicians who all think that the American public is “utterly stupid and mindless and can be sold any bill of goods.”
    I can’t argue with that in some cases they are 100% correct. I point to Barry Soetoro to display the full effect of this mind control factor.

    The word “entitlement” has become somewhat distorted by way of all the rhetoric, so lets review.
    ENTITLEMENT; is when one has done nothing and yet is rewarded for doing nothing.

    Is paying into SS for years then truly an Entitlement?
    No, not by definition. If one were to use such a term then what you save in you’re bank account would be an Entitlement as well, or you’re stocks or art collections, you’re car, you’re home the list goes on and on etc..

    The SS system though I do not agree with it was set up as a bank account for you when YOU retire. Thus if you paid in, then when you draw funds, you are in fact due these funds.
    Thus its not an Entitlement.

    The true form of the word “ENTITLEMENT”; is as follows;
    You have given nothing and you have provided nothing, and yet you get something for doing NOTHING.

    • 45caliber

      I agree completely with you. The real problem was that when the government was acting as a bank to save your money for your retirement, the politicians saw millions of dollars piling up and simply couldn’t keep their greedy hands off it. Now that they have spent most of it, their argument is that they should end it because they would have to take money from some other project they want to replace the money they stole.

      • Aix Sponsa

        The biggest problem has always been that 90% of Americans since WWII have trusted the government to take care of them, believing that SS or perpetual company retirement was going to be there. How many people have you known that lived modestly, paid cash for everything, saved cautiously, and depended only upon themselves? Yourself is the only person you can trust. Grandpa always said, “When the excrement strikes the rotating airfoil, the resultant distribution of feculance is not shared equally among all recipients”.

  • Kim

    Once again TIME, you speak truth. I couldn’t agree with you more. A widow friend of ours has been denied SS although her husband paid for years into it, and no small sum either. Now she is being denied because she has to work to make ends meet and she earns 14,000 a year. 14,000 a year??? That isn’t enough for 6 months! I am furious for her, she doesn’t know what to do…

    • 45caliber

      Kim:

      Contact your Congressman. If he won’t help, contact another one who might. It works to get their attention on a problem. Further, none of them mind doing something like this since it costs them nothing and they can expect to get a few more votes for doing it.

    • TIME

      Kim & 45 Cal,

      I invest in my own company even still to this day as what was state of the art today is out molded by weeks end. Thus its a challenge to stay ahead of the curb.
      Let alone what the Government is tossing out daily to control my business and tell me what I can do, how much I can make, and then send me a bill and expect I pay it ASAP.
      Somehow what was once something Great has become something so preverted that it stinks out loud.

      We give billions to alledged allies, yet the real motor that runs this country is being robbed blind daily to keep the CON ARTIST in the High life.

      Many folks just don’t understand that to create jobs the shackles have to be removed. Lets be real if you bind the hands of a Business and you toss then in a box, don’t allow them to keep the money they make, make them conform to rules that the Political class are not bound to, what can one expect.

      Then only the truly corrupt thrive. We have have countless goverment departments that work daily to destroy American Business’s.
      Or enslave the population with taxs and laws that are at best insane.

      These same persons are now using the semantics of “FEE’S rather than Tax’s.” “Investments, rather than exccessive spending.”
      The list of semantics is mindnumbing and grows to allow more of the same old same old.

      The facts are what I have paid in to SS I should have at a straight up 10% compund Interest be paid out at age 74 $5.9 million dollars if not more. Thats based on the numbers the SS dept sends me on what I have paid in.
      Now I do admit that’s not a lot of money anylonger. But thats what I am owed. Its not an entitlement, its “my money” that was taken from me by “force.”

      Yet a congress or senate person who is elected just once will get $175K per year for life TAX free, Plus they also get cost of living addition, plus Free Tax payer Health Care for life.

      Lets do a quick example; Congress person at age 35 works two terms, retires at age 43, they get $175K until the cost of living adjustments kick in, {so we will work with out them for the moment,} $175K x 40 years = thats seven Million dollars and all they have to do is work just 8 years.
      Plus all health care for life, and when they pass on their spouce gets that amount until thier death plus the Free Health care.

      Also keep in mind they are “exempt from all the laws passed by congress and the senate.”

      And now who wants to talk about whats wrong with our country? Is the light on yet?

      Keep in mind that the POTUS gets this type of special Golden Parachute plan too but with even more perks.
      A Libary, cost to the US tax payer base cost; $55 plus million dollars,
      Plus the per year up keep, $20 Million and more.
      Plus their pay plus cost of living adjustments.
      Plus their Office paid years by the US tax payers.
      Their staffs paid for yearly by the US tax payers,
      Plus security details again paid by the US tax payer thats for life!
      Plus FREE health Care for life, and thats about 1000000000 X’s better than any plan you could ever hope to acquire.
      Free flights,
      Free cars,
      and a free home!
      Base cost to keep an just one X Potus, is about $100 million dollars PLUS per year.

      Ok whats wrong with this picture again?

      • 45caliber

        I calculated once on paying SS for 30 years vs. a compound interest account at a bank with a 5% interest rate. It is just over a million dollars. So, at minimum, I should get the million. Further, since the taxes and wages have gone up, I should get a lot more. And I possibly could have if Congress had kept their grubby hands off it.

      • 45caliber

        On retirement: Congress pay drops to 90% of their “working” pay – but it goes up the amount of cost of living PLUS 1% each year. At the end of 10 years or so they have doubled their starting retirment pay. They get the free medical PLUS their choice of doctors and where to go for treatment. So what if some doctor from half way around the world must drop everything to come to take care of them? They also get an office free, plus two aides/secretaries to write their books or whatever, plus all other costs on the office. The President gets all that PLUS secret service guards the rest of his/her life for him and his spouse, secretaries, offices, libraries, etc.

        • Aix Sponsa

          That is not exactly correct. But in the jist of things, it is close.

  • 45caliber

    As far as I’m concerned, Simpson missed the biggest area to cut – Welfare. Why should I put myself in the poor house paying taxes so someone else won’t have to get a job?

  • Kris

    If they want to reform social security, then stop giving it to illegal aliens! They can keep their elitest fingers out of the box! Stop or cap medicaid. Stop giving free everything to the illegals! Illegals cost taxpayers 80 to 110 billion dollars a year and they want to give them amnesty so when they get all the free chit they are getting now they can say that American citizens are the ones using ss or medicaid. I am retired on a small pension and I poay 735 dollars a month for blue cross. They have now added a co pay and raised the deductible to 500 hundred dollars a month and cut back on services they pay for. I will have to drop my health insurance or not pay my mortgage. After paying my bills I have 200 dollars left for the month to pay for food. If I need a test, I can’t get it because I have to pay 3 or 4 hundred dollars before I can get the test. What the hell is the medical insurance good for? I thank Hussain and the azzholes who voted the deathcare bill in for this. The insurance companies are going to get what they can before they go out of business.

    • Aix Sponsa

      And how much money did you actually save the last 50 years? You spent your life “trusting the government”, didn’t you?

      • http://naver samurai

        Sounds like she has been busting her backside working and trying to make decisions on her family’s survival. She didn’t mention anything about the government giving her money now did she? 하나님 하고 나라를 위해서! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

  • http://com i41

    The other biggest area Simpson and Bowles didn’t touch, was the beltway porkers salaries. They didn’t touch the elitist Congress people and retired or defeated Congress slubs. Cut their salaries and benifits by 25% and they still are making 5 time the average citizens earning and citizens are paying the taxes and isurance premiums.. Everytime a former Congress person gets to be on one of these panels, their pay goes back to wwhat they were earning and Usually the panels last between 6 months to 2 years. Do you seee any average Joe or Suzy adding any imout? Only experts and elitists azzes.Never heard a word about flat tax, equal for everyone and too simple.

    • ValDM

      I agree with you that many things have not been addressed about “fiscal responsibility”. My pet peeve is Farm subsidies. Do you know how many congressman have farm land (many acres) that they draw subsidies for just to keep it out of production????

      • Aix Sponsa

        So you feel that artificial commonity prices are……… what?

  • kate8

    Don’t expect any serious attempts at fiscal responsibility from this Congress. They know that something huge is about come down and they don’t want to be seen as opposing Obama.

    Today, (or was it yesterday?) Obama institutes complete media takeover, including the internet, and a massive campaign of propaganda for the NWO. Oh, and we are another signature (Obama’s) closer to being the NAU.

    In case you missed it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4ZdbiSLnv4

    Let everyone know.

    • TIME

      Kate,

      Please do all us all a Massive BIG favor post this on every thread you can.

      I have been telling you all as best as I can with out my being shut down it’s here, and been here for some time.

      If any of you understand the ramifications at all, even just a tad of what this means you should be speaking on street corners to people on a soap box.
      Are you all worthless sheepeeee’s with no abilitys to speak up?

      Barry Is the END GAME he is not a nine person, he is a TOOL being used by the NWO, to divide you.
      If you can’t see that, please just shoot you’re self and get out of the bloody way.
      You don’t even know his real name for GOD SAKE people. How bloody stupid are many of you?

      I beg you to wake the hell up! I keep tellig you its not a DemO V RebO

      Its called the “”NEW WORLD ORDER,”” can you all please pull you’re heads out of your asss and start thinking??? LOOK at the Really BIG Picture, many of us like Jeff and Joe Dave and Kate and Anthony keep telling you its not coming its here.
      There is NO TIME for mindless stupid games.

      People I told you “””martial law””” is here,
      {{{code yellow,}}} <<>> }}}} CODE RED,{{{{{
      TSA,
      Patriat ACT

      Can you all please stop being BUTT HEADS and think about whet these really mean.

      If you love you're familys, if you love you're friends, if you love you're country.
      I beg you all PLEASE PULL YOU'RE HEADS out of YOU'RE ASSS.

      • Aix Sponsa

        AMEN

      • Aix Sponsa

        In ’96, my best friend stopped to help a stalled semi, and the driver showed my friend his flatbed semi load of signs “Road Closed, FEMA, Marshall Law”, headed for Houston. Driver said he had been hauling signs for 6 months all over the USA. Gazillions of signs are distributed nationwide waiting deployment. Maybe it is only for a hurricane, earthquake, or biological event, a lot like the plastic coffins distributed around primary target areas.

  • barbm

    it seems everybody wants to hit the elderly. why medicare? at least we pay for it, pay a deductible on it, and have co-pays. medicaid, which pays every dime, should be cut for those able-bodied people who won’t work or make their livings on their backs making more babies. i seriously doubt that these idiots know the difference between medicare and medicaid.

    • 45caliber

      I agree with you. I think Welfare should be the first department to go. No pay for no work.

      However, some years ago a city in Maryland simply hired all the welfare people in town. They picked up paper every day. At the end of six months they had only TWO people still working. The rest found better jobs. But the Welfare Department could see losing their own jobs if everyone started doing this. They sued and the SCOTUS ruled that forcing someone to work for enough to live on was a form of slavery. Everyone should be able to draw money without being forced to work for it.

    • Aix Sponsa

      Isn’t medicare a government provided health insurance program? And who pays for its useage? tax payers?

  • JJM

    “As a taxpayer” has little influence on the politicians. If the only eligible voters were US citizen taxpayers we wouldn’t be in such a serious problem. Redistribution would also be of smaller concern. Those who do not contribute should not be allowed to influence policies.
    Otherwise, if everyone can vote, then everyone can pay – replace tax laws with Sales Tax!!! State vote require state taxpayer, federal vote require federal taxpayer.

  • http://com i41

    barbm, the soros socialists and the rinos don’t want to be politically uncorrect. Mentioning going after the sires of these illigatemate offspring, and any legiaslature seat warmer will dodge that like a Onumnutts did durning his interweiw. Because these are the ones who are voters and future voters. Some states have started going after the mothers of these offspring to ID the sires. Then the states track down the sires to make them pay, The testing and charges are all placed on the father of the offspring if they refuse to pay up. Medicaid is the biggest health costs for states. For the s–theads that will not pay the arrest them and put them to doing community service work at 25 cents an hour, cleaning road ditches picking trash and sorting trash at land fills. The states even trach the sires to their contries wheather snad crabs or like Onmnutts case a black rug polisher. States and citizens are goingto have to get serios about going after cutting the money put out for people to lazy to work and show responsiblity.
    Our legislature just voted down a bill to drug test welfare receiptant eery month, and if failed test move it to 2 a month andremove more benifits for test costs. It failed by 3 votes, so I called my representives and demanded an answer for not approving it. They claim it is costs, then if they fail remove some ofthe benifits to cover costs, like the do when a DUI offense occurs. Citizens need to get after this runaway feel good crap.

    • 45caliber

      I still think that the best thing to do would be to pay the women on welfare about $10 a month extra. Instead of paying them to have more kids, they would LOSE the money if they had another. That would stop a lot of the pregnancies since they would lose that money.

      If you notice, most have 8 kids. That’s because the government pays them more for each kid up to 8. After that, they get no more money, so they have no more kids.

  • ONTIME

    What you say has merit Simson but you and the sugestions to the Almighty were nothing more than window dressing and I think you knew that. This administration is going to run amuck and there isn’t enough balls in the whole of congress to stand up to them..they are far more interested in staying in their over paid to long tenured jobs.

  • s c

    Simpson is right. Career politicians tend to cover their rumps long before they ever get around to doing their job. Compromise is the polite term for this outrage.
    Compromise, it needs to be said, is the last refuge of those who refuse to have standards. America, aren’t you sick and tired of sending generations of political hacks and useful idiots to Washington?
    You’ll get better results from VOLUNTEERS, America. Why waste time on expensive elections, especially when you should know in advance that politicians KNOW that most Americans don’t have the WILL to DEMAND results from the incompetents and worthless mule muffins they send to Washington? WHY make it EASY for the SOBs?

    • 45caliber

      One of the old Speakers of the House, Sam something, made a comment AFTER he left office that he always looked at new bills in this order:

      1. How would it affect him and would it put money and votes in his pocket?

      2. How would it affect the Democrat Party?

      3. How would it affect his district?

      4. How would it affect his state?

      and FINALLY 5. how would it affect the country?

      I think all of them do that.

      • Aix Sponsa

        Sam Rayburn, speaker of the house for 17 years.

  • http://com i41

    .45, it was Sam Rayburn, close friend of registered communist George McGovern, the ’72 democrat canidate. SC, compromise is a polite way of saying no back bone. It is always the conservative that are supposed to go to the left and the lefts sits on its sros socialist liberial rear. GW should have learned with his compromise on the education bill, the country got hosed again. With Dems citizens always get hose, think Onumnutts Nocare, banking reform, more regulation on businesses and and 20% unemployment, how is hope and change working now. Hope in 10 years there will be back to 4.5% unemployment and the change of having all bills paid up like it was under GW first 6 years. Remember facts democrats are Soros Socialist+ Onumnutts = marxist/communist/ socalism/ totalitain government control over everyone and everything. It never was any change as we all hoped. Just a life long dream of the “progressive party”.

    • 45caliber

      Correct. I just couldn’t remember that last name.

  • Aix Sponsa

    I often tell this story:
    I take one white pen, and one colored. I say, these are both pens. Each is different. Both write with ink. Each has differnt words on them. I hold them out and ask someone to “pick one”. When they pick one, I ask them, “Who picked that?” They always answer, “me”. I say, NO, I DID. They look at me strangely. I say, “NO, I gave you the choice. I chose the ultimate outcome. Republican or Democrat, what’s the difference.”

    Sometimes you can see the lights come on in their heads.

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