President Obama created a deficit reduction commission that has been asked to propose ways for the United States to bring down the (annual) deficit to GDP ratio from above 8% presently to 3% by 2015. The two committee chairs, Alan Simpson – former Republic Senator from Wyoming – and Erskine Bowles – former Clinton administration chief of state – have published a list of contentious ideas they believe necessary to achieve the intended target. They have not avoided controversial programs such as Social Security, Medicare, mortgage interest rate deductions, and defense spending since they recognize that serious plans require serious discussion.
Their report must be made public by December 1st, and if it garners the votes of 14 of the 18 commission members, it must face an up-down vote in each house of Congress. I find this effort the most interesting one related to politics since the Greenspan Commission to modify the Social Security program presented its report in 1983. I wish them good luck. They (and we) will need if we are to make serious progress and reducing future economic instability.