Politics: More bipartisanship, this time on debt & taxes

White House, Democratic lawmakers cut deal on deficit commission (Washington Post)

"Faced with growing alarm over the nation's soaring debt, the White House and congressional Democrats tentatively agreed Tuesday to create an independent budget commission and to put its recommendations for fiscal solvency to a vote in Congress by the end of this year.

"Under the agreement, President Obama would issue an executive order to create an 18-member panel that would be granted broad authority to propose changes in the tax code and in the massive federal entitlement programs -- including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security -- that threaten to drive the nation's debt to levels not seen since World War II....

"Fourteen commission members would have to agree on any deficit-reduction plan, a prospect that skeptics called a recipe for gridlock because action would depend on the support of at least two Republicans for a plan that is sure to include tax increases. Meanwhile, many influential interest groups -- including some unions and AARP -- have lined up in opposition to giving an outside commission power to cut federal spending and are likely to pressure Democrats to resist sharp budget cuts."

The rest of the story: White House, Democratic lawmakers cut deal on deficit commission by Lori Montgomery (Washington Post 2010-01-20)

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