Beltway Happenings  
June 30, 2010--The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform ("debt commission") heard from CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf at its third monthly meeting.  Co-chair Alan Simpson, the former Republican Senator from Wyoming, has said that, "Everything is on the table."  Simpson recounted some pointed messages he has from opponents of tax increases and stated, "I didn't come to this commission to raise taxes."  However, he noted that even Ronald Reagan, contrary to myth, had raised taxes a number of times.  Simpson said the commission's challenge is to see if 18 citizens can "come up with something that looks like common sense even though its painful."  Co-chair Erskine Bowles, who served as White House chief of staff during the Clinton Administration, stated, "We are going to have to really reduce discretionary spending...there's no way around it."  Presenting the CBO's "2010 Long-Term Budget Outlook," Elmendorf said, "Over the long run, the budget outlook is daunting.  In the afternoon, the commission heard ideas from representatives of dozens of groups.  President Obama signed an executive order establishing the 18-person commission on Feb. 18, 2010; it is to present its report by Dec. 1, 2010. 

Copyright © 2010  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action. All rights reserved.
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