Obama's deficit commission is running out of money

From the long list of ironies when it comes to our government and how it operates, comes the news that Obama's bipartisan deficit commission is about to run out of operating funds.

If you remember, this was the commission that Obama created by executive order back in April because he didn't want to go along with a congressional version being pushed by Republicans that would have taken tax increases off the table in terms of recommendations that the commission could make (and force to a vote in Congress).

From the Fiscal Times:

The 18-member commission faces the daunting challenge of coming up with proposals by Dec. 1 to tame the federal government’s trillion-dollar budget deficit.  But the panel’s own budget is only $500,000, barely enough to cover office rent and the salaries of four staff members.

And though the White House and Treasury have loaned the panel experts from their own payrolls, and several think tanks are helping as well, the total full-time staff currently is only about 15 people and not expected to exceed 20. Money is so tight that the commission recently abandoned hopes of holding field hearings around the country to gather views from outside of Washington.

Although you do have to laugh at the irony here, if there is one place that a commission like this should spend money it would be in getting input from the American people - no producing another in a long line of bureaucratic studies that will sit on a shelf and gather dust.

If the congressional town hall meetings of last August proved anything, it's that there are PLENTY of Americans who want to be heard when it comes to our country's fiscal problems.  And they will tell you EXACTLY what they want to happen...which is probably why they're not too concerned about hearing from the American people.

The fact is that what needs to be done to fix the deficit isn't a big mystery in need of another blue-ribbon panel.  It's simple and well known.  Cut the spending.  But Democrats aren't interested in using the budget axe to fix the problem.  They're looking for political cover that they can hide behind that will recommend a tax increase (like the Value Added Tax) that will permanently finance our oversized welfare state.


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