Thursday, November 11, 2010

Liberals Lash Out At “Draconian” Debt Proposals

Three key goals found lacking in right-wing camp: too little, too late, too long
Liberals protest the severity of the recommended actions

To get the federal debt under control and cut deficit spending, the Obama debt commission proposed three key goals:

* increase the Social Security retirement age to 69 – in year 2075

* freeze federal salaries for the next 3 years

* eliminate all Congressional earmarks

The report from co-chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson recommends spending cuts begin in 2012 aiming at reduction of the deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade.

Liberal politicians labeled the proposals as draconian; right-wing business pundits attacked immediately, calling the proposals an exercise in “timidity.”

Other proposals include:

* a 3-year freeze on non-combat pay to Armed Forces at 2011 levels
* $28 billion in defense cuts proposed by Secretary Robert Gates
* elimination of 250,000 contractors – an $18.4 billion saving
* capping taxes at 21% of the gross domestic product
* limiting federal spending to 22% of the economy

Formal recommendations will come from the full 18-member panel appointed by President Barack Obama on December 1. Observers both liberal and conservative say they do not expect to see much cooperation from the diverse panel, nor do they expect a united front in the recommendations. Pundits of all political stripes predict the commission will not be able to present a cohesive recommendation the day the deadline rolls around on the first of next month.

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