America

Majority Of Deficit Commission Endorses Plan; Not Enough To Make It Automatic

As expected, a majority of the bipartisan commission charged with crafting a plan to slash the nation's soaring budget deficits and national debt, has endorsed a blueprint for how to tackle those daunting problems.

But, also as expected, the plan did not get the super-super-majority 14 (out of 18) votes necessary to automatically put it in front of Congress. Eleven members gave it their support.

Still, "I'm really, really pleased for out country with the outcome of this commission," said the Democratic co-chair, Erskine Bowles. He said the panel's work shows it is possible to have "an adult conversation about the deficit."

And his Republican co-chair, former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson, said the panel "took a big banana and threw it into the gorilla cage." Now, he predicted, lawmakers will play with it, "but they will eat some."

"Many pieces of this will be digested and will nourish this country." Simpson said.

The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform's plan is posted here.

As the AP says: "Among its many contentious provisions, the plan would raise the Social Security retirement age and scale back popular tax deductions on health insurance and mortgage interest."

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