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Thursday, November 11, 2010

National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility & Reform releases Report

Co-Chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility & Reform, former Sen. Alan Simpson and Bill Clintons ex Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, released their bipartisan plan for reducing federal spending and deficits. Needless to say, many of the "feed at the federal trough" entitlement groups were less than thrilled spitless.

Below is a statement from Tax Payers for Common Sense President Ms. Ryan Alexander & some info supporting some of the proposals in the plan....
The co-chairs’ proposal makes clear that they are serious about leaving no budgetary stone unturned. While many sacred cows were put up for sacrifice, some remain. And just as no one likes to see their tax dollars wasted, no one likes to see their favorite program on the chopping block. Policymakers and interest groups across the spectrum are already leaping to attack almost every proposed reform. To overcome opposition the proposals cannot simply be aspirational instead of implementable and projected savings need to be real and realistic.

But political challenges should not deter the Commission and Congress as we move ahead. This is a great starting place for the commission’s work. These proposals challenge the Commission and Congress to make the kind of hard decisions it is going to need to make if there is any hope of putting the government’s finances on a more sustainable path. We cannot afford to squander this opportunity to rid the budget of ineffective and wasteful spending – from energy and agriculture subsidies to wasteful defense spending practices – and put the country in a better position to face the challenges ahead, whether from global economic shocks or threats from terrorism.

Taxpayers for Common Sense looks forward to working with the Commission to adopt a strong proposal that is adopted by Congress

Research by TCS on some of the Co-Chair’s Proposals


We are less convinced savings from Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ proposed Pentagon reforms should be applied toward deficit reduction. Laudable as the reforms are, we’re unsure the methods he’s outlined will produce the savings he’s promised. Likewise with defense contracting reforms: Though we have long advocated for such steps, it’s difficult to measure just how much savings these reforms will produce and foolhardy to budget around it.


Issues in the Report in General:Bridge the Partisan Budget Divide

Highway Trust Fund:Finding New Fixes for the Highway Trust Fund
Highway Trust Fund Fix Hurts Taxpayers

Abandoned Mines:More than 161,000 Abandoned Mines in the West

Market Access Project:Representatives Murphy and Garrett Introduce Bill to End the Wasteful Market Access Program

Congressional Pay Raise:Let’s Stop the Congressional Pay Raise

Army Corps of Engineers:Taxpayers Must Not Carry Water for Bad Projects: Comments on the Draft Principles and Standards for Water Resource Projects

Doc Fix:Intensive Care Budgets

Medicare Part D:Prescription Propaganda

Medicare and Social Security:Next President’s Challenge: Medicare and Social Security

Agriculture Disaster Aid:Taxpayers Plowed Under
Cultivating Cash
As in today’s proposal, we have historically called for eliminating business tax expenditures, including the LIFO method of accounting and energy tax preferences for the oil and gas industry. We would go further to include loan guarantees to mature industries, like nuclear power, and eliminating other subsidies to energy companies.
We applaud the Commission for taking on some sacred cows in its defense proposals. Budget-watchers agree Defense Department health care programs such as Tricare are in desperate need of reform despite political aversion to taking them on. We are also confident our military can absorb the suggested topline cuts in procurement and research & development without compromising our security.
Taxpayers for Common Sense has also put out a list of Common Sense Reforms for the incoming 112th Congress that can read by clicking here.

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