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Your 2010 Entitlement Commission

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Your 2010 Entitlement Commission"

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The combination of egomania, self-righteousness, irresponsibility, and cowardice that characterizes many United States Senators is pretty hard to take. For example, instead of doing their jobs, this gang wants to pretend that they’ll force the United States to default on its debt unless a commission of other people is appointed to propose cutting Social Security and Medicare:

You rarely do have the leverage to make a fundamental change,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), who said he hasn’t ruled out offering the independent commission legislation as an amendment to the healthcare reform bill. [...]

Among its chief responsibilities would be closing the gap between tax revenue coming in and the larger cost of paying for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits. The Government Accountability Office recently reported the gap is on pace to reach an “unsustainable” $63 trillion in 2083. [...]

But before Tuesday’s hearing was over, Sens. Conrad, Gregg, Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) publicly vowed to vote against raising the debt ceiling if a budget reform commission bill doesn’t come along with it.

Why not throw it back at this crew? Tell the Irresponsible Threat Caucus that instead of asking for a commission, they should just start calling themselves a “budget commission” and then they can specify their own proposed set of tax hikes and Medicare cuts.

Note that Senators Gregg, Bayh, Voinovich, and Sessions didn’t have these concerns about the budget when voting to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts to the children of multi-millionaires. And I continue to await congressional support for making the war in Afghanistan deficit neutral.

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