President Obama's deficit commission says the national debt requires urgent action. But economists are split on that basic premise.
A 60 percent majority on Obama's bipartisan deficit commission say they approved the co-chairs' recommendations, not enough to force a vote in Congress. Will their work have an impact?
Let's agree on the facts, regardless of the politics: the Bowles-Simpson plan and Rivlin-Domenici plan will raise taxes on the rich. Not marginal tax rates, but average tax rates.
Thursday headlines note the failure of President Obama's bipartisan deficit commission to reach consensus, but the opposite is also true to some extent. Key Democrats and Republicans on the commission voiced agreement on some important things during the panel's public meeting Wednesday. Sooner or later, these points of common ground could help pave the way for legislation.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin praised Obama's debt commission report at a Monitor Breakfast Thursday, but said he wouldn't vote for it because it fattened health care.
Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, co-chairs of President Obama's deficit commission, hope their final report will start an 'adult conversation' about the national debt. But members of Congress might have too much to lose politically to back the report.
A payroll tax holiday could give a short-term boost to the economy, while other parts of Alice Rivlin's plan would raise revenue.