T Nation

The Budget Commission Speaks!


The Bipartisan Budget Commission has put out some recommendations...and the "weeping-and-wailing" has already begun from the left AND the right.

Some of their recommendations (note: I'm "shorthanding" it a little):

1) CUT Social Security Benefits/decrease benefits based on need.

2) Increase retirement age to 69.

3) Cut Medicaire by reeling in escalating medical cost.

4) Eliminate the Mortgage Deduction (this is a tough one!)

5) Bring Federal Salaries more in line with the Private Sector and freeze hiring and bonuses.

6) Cut Defense

(I'm sure I've missed some; so you guys please add what you have heard).

It's interesting when you talk to people. They sure are "gung-ho" ready to cut Federal Spending...until it has an impact on them personally.

And of course, the Politicians are already starting to draw their "lines in the sand" (surprise...surprise...) and are starting the demagoguery and finger pointing.

It's on!

Let's see what the "New" Congress is going to do.




It will be interesting to see what happens for sure, but in my opinion they aren't going to touch Social Security, or do anything that would impact the "senior vote".

I certainly like the idea of reeling in federal salaries.

I also think that they will likely bring in a whole slew of stealth taxes, i.e. phasing out all sorts of tax credits and other goodies like Clinton did.

I would like to see the AMT eliminated for both individuals and corporations.

I know the largest items of Federal spending are defense, Medicare and Social Security.

I just remembered, I was watching CNBC the other day and Robert Reich and that other economist they always have on, with the glasses and the bowtie, were arguing about this. I wish I had recorded it because they both brought up some really great ideas for cutting spending. They both agreed that defense and Medicare needed to be cut but couldn't agree on exactly what. Reich wanted to keep Social Security the way it is and the other economist wanted to see more of a privatized system.

I certainly agree that Social Security ought to have a private option, why shouldn't you be able to?

Anyway, I know this didn't really add anything, just wanted to be a part of the discussion.


I'm down with all of them except the mortgage interest deduction. You get body slammed enough on mortgage interest, closing, homeowners, flood ins. and the list goes on and on. Keep the small bone they throw us on this one. These talks will be an afterthought a month from now anyway. On an unrelated note, Kristi Noem is hot as hell.


Funny thing, biglifter!

I looked her up (because I didn't no who she was! GOP Congresswoman from South Dakota...)

Her Ranch received more than 3 million dollars in Farm Subsidies since 1995...and the Commission wants to cut most, if not all, Farm Subsidies!



Then you may find this interesting:


If you work for the gov't then your salary/wage comes from everyone else, and you sohuldn't be receiving any more benefits/perks than the people whose money is taken so you can have a job.


They are all good places to start, though I think they are going to be surprised by how close many federal salaries are to the private sector. Not having fast food workers and the like to lower the average wage makes the federal workers seem scandalously overpaid but if you compare earnings by profession I bet its much less shocking.

They should ditch the child tax credit with the mortgage interest deduction too.


Nothing will be done based on this commission. NOTHING. This was for pure show while Obamawitz travels the world. This type of thing has been done before. The "Grace Commission" was launched by Ronald Reagan during his presidency in 1982. That particular task force produced 2,236 recommendations. There would have been a savings of $341 billion dollars if everything had been done.

They had a big splash on all the networks and everyone got all excited thinking that now something was going to get done. Guess what? Nothing happened, not one of their recommendations was put into action. I expect no more from this latest nonsense.

We already have a body that is supposed to look after the purse strings it's called Congress. And they won't even look at this latest stuff as they know, just like Obama that it's all for show. When the rubber hits the road they will do what they do best and that's spend. Sure some of the new republicans will fight for this stuff but it won't be nearly enough to matter.

Now everyone just keep moving, go on, go about your business there's nothing to see here, move along. There's nothing positive coming in the near future, other than gridlock.


From what I read on the news clip, the trade off in the mortgage interest deduction was an overall decrease in the tax rate--by like 10% for the highest bracket. I'd take that in a heartbeat. It would provide more incentive to try and own your home outright.

"Their proposed simplification of the tax code would repeal or modify a number of popular tax breaks including the deductibility of mortgage-interest payments so that income-tax rates could be reduced across the board. Under one option, individual income-tax rates would decline to as low as 8 percent for the lowest income bracket (it is now 10 percent) and to 23 percent for the highest bracket (now 35 percent). The corporate tax rate, now 35 percent, would be reduced to as low as 26 percent."

--Seattle Times


Most of the recommendations are sensible, therefore will not be done.

Nancy Pelosi has already rejected the report.


Thats the problem though, you want your little bone and so does everyone else. Add up all of those bones and nothing gets changed.


Bout time.

I hope people realize that this is the cost of the stimulus and bailouts. It wasn't free money.


Found this this morning, kinda relevant:


Figures. I'll just continue to look at her and try not to know too much.


Got kids? Own a house GoodJoe???

I, as well as 80% of homeowners will be royally FUCKED if they do this, but all of them will be tarred, feathered and out of commission if they even think about it.


Can't argue there. However, I'd certainly take one for team and part with it, if anything beyond just talking of reform happened. Unfortunately (or fortunately), that deduction will around for years to come.


kids- no, house-yes.

Its funny how many conservatives want the gov. to "social engineer" when it benefits them.


"Social Eng" what?....


The act of encouraging or discouraging an event or act that is not part of government's purview. Wether or not I purchase a home or if I take out a mortgae to pay for it should neither increase or decrease the proportion of the expenses of the governemnt I should bear.


Then you must be a proponent for a flat tax then.