About the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform
President Obama created the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to address our nation's fiscal challenges.
The Commission is charged with identifying policies to improve the fiscal situation in the medium term and to achieve fiscal sustainability over the long run.
Specifically, the Commission shall propose recommendations designed to balance the budget, excluding interest payments on the debt, by 2015.
In addition, the Commission shall propose recommendations that meaningfully improve the long-run fiscal outlook, including changes to address the growth of entitlement spending and the gap between the projected revenues and expenditures of the Federal Government.
The Commission will meet as a whole once a month while Congress is in session. The Commission will vote on a final report containing a set of recommendations to achieve its mission no later than December 1, 2010.
The final report will require the approval of at least 14 of the Commission's 18 members.
The Discretionary Working Group will research and discuss issues related to discretionary spending.
Rep John Spratt – (D SC 5)
Sen Tom Coburn – (R – OK)
The Mandatory Working Group will research and discuss issues related to mandatory spending.
Alice Rivlan (D) – Former Clinton Economic Advisor(On Social Security)
Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI 1)– (on other mandatory issues)
Sen Judd Gregg (R-NH)– (On Social Security)
The Tax Reform Working Group will research and discuss issues related to tax reform.
Rep Dave Camp – (R MI 4)
Sen Kent Conrad – (D ND)
1. Alice Rivlan –Senior Fellow- Discussion Leader – Mandatory Working Group (On Social Security) - Only one economist: Alice Rivlin, former Director of the Office for Management and Budget, who co-authored a report advocating for $47 billion in cuts to programs like Social Security, raising the Social Security age, and reducing inflation adjustments.
2. Andrew Stern – President – Service Employees International Union
3. Ann Fudge – who is CEO of Kraft and former CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands, and who sits on the board of Novartis, GE, and Unilever.
4. Bruce Reed (Chief Domestic Policy Adviser to President Clinton)
5. Dave Cote – Chairman and CEO, Honeywell International - a multimillionaire who is CEO of defense contractor Honeywell, a former GE executive, a board member of JPMorganChase, and a member of the CEO group, the Business Roundtable.
6. Erskine Bowles (Chief of Staff to President Clinton)
7. Joshua Odintz – joined June 7,2010 as Chief Tax Counsel
8. Rep Xavier Becerra (D-CA 31)
9. Rep Dave Camp (R-MI 4) (Discussion Leader – Tax Reform Working Group)
10. Rep Hensarling (R-TX 5)
11. Rep Paul Ryan – (R-WI 1) Discussion Leader – Mandatory Working Group (on other mandatory issues)
12. Rep John Schakowsky – (D-IL 9)
13. Rep John Spratt (D-SC 5) – Discussion Leader – Discretionary Working Group
14. Sen Alan Simpson – Co-Chairmen (Former Republican Senator from Wyoming)
15. Sen Max Baucus (D-MT)
16. Sen Tom Coburn – (R-OK) Discussion Leader – Discretionary Working Group
17. Sen Kent Conrad (D-ND) – (Discussion Leader – Tax Reform Working Group)
18. Sen Mike Crapo (R-ID)
19. Sen Richard Durbin (D-IL)
20. Sen Judd Gregg (R-NH) – Discussion Leader – Mandatory Working Group (On Social Security)
The commission has been criticized as deliberating in secret and as being "stacked with people who want to target entitlement spending rather than any balanced proposal."
In theory, the commission should be proposing recommendations to balance the budget -- such as ending tax cuts for the rich, cutting wasteful military spending, and allowing the government to negotiate better rates with the health insurance and drug industries. But, in reality, it is focused almost exclusively on cutting widely-loved, crucially important, and solvent programs that benefit the public like Social Security, which recent polling puts at over 80% approval.
Alan Simpson, a millionaire who hates Social Security and considers millions of Americans on Social Security to be sucking on the public "tit," symbolizes how this commission lacks credibility and is not standing up for the public interest. 68 Percent of Voters Frown on ‘Phasing Out’ Social Security
Well, let me tell you. We’ve already identified $250 billion in cuts on the discretionary side of our budget. We’ve identified $300 billion worth of loopholes in our tax code that are not helping economic growth. If we just did those two things, as I’ve already proposed, that would make a huge difference. We’ve proposed to freeze discretionary spending for three years, to start whittling down some of the debt that I inherited.