The Deficit Commission, like any other group given the title "commission', was designed from the beginning to come up with what the President wanted them to come up with in order to placate the citizens when the final decision is made. It is the traditional "the Buck Stops Here" as I had to make the decision based on what this panel of experts handed me as the result of their months of studying the topic.
The bottom line is why spend the millions of dollars so this group of puppets can give you the outcome you wanted them to give you in the first place. H*ll, simply grow a set of b*lls, save the millions of taxpayer dollars, and come out with your decision without having this expenditure. As a side, it might also enable this group to preserve any sort of self-dignity they may not have already lost during the course of their "career'. There hasn't been a single "commission' that has not come up with the "answer' the assembler of that commission wanted in the first place.
This most recent con has responded with nothing more than more of what we have been hearing from the likes of Fox News, Limbaugh, Boehner, McConnell, the Tea Party clan, et al. "keep the Bush tax cuts, privatize social security, privatize Medicare, etc.
Let's review the "findings" of this commission:
1. Ending or capping middle class tax breaks, including deductions for home mortgage interest and tax-free employer provided medical insurance;
2. Taxing capital gains and dividends the same as ordinary income; long-term capital gains and qualified dividends are currently taxed at 15%;
3. Lowering tax rates dramatically to 9,15, and 24%, down from six current brackets ranging from 10 -35% for income over $373,650;
4. Slashing corporate tax rates from the top 35% rate to 26%, combined with eliminating some deductions;
5. Making permanent the research and development tax credit;
6. Making deeper Medicare cuts; increasing Medicaid co-pays; slashing $54 Billion from graduate medical education; and enacting "comprehensive tort reform," making it harder for aggrieved patients to file malpractice suits;
7. Raising the Social Security retirement age to 69 by 2075; reducing cost-of-living increases, now based on annual inflation rates; raising the payroll tax ceiling to $200,000, letting million dollar earners off the hook like now;
8. Cutting the federal work force 10% by 2015, adding to the unemployment rolls;
9. Raising the federal gasoline tax by 15 cent a gallon and imposing "user fees' on motorists - to have workers fund the federal transportation and highway spending program; and
10. Cutting $100 Billion in military spending, including administration, inefficiencies, "unnecessary" weapons (likely ones Pentagon brass don't want in lieu of others they won't sacrifice, force contingents on overseas bases, and health care benefits for military retirees through enacted premiums and higher co-pays; unmentioned is the Pentagon's open-ended black budget, supplemental Iraq and Afghanistan appropriations, and commitment to continued imperial wars; also that military spending will grow annually, unimpeded'.
Taking a global look at the recommendations from this panel of millionaires makes it obvious they are either clueless or they're on target with an agenda that appears to be in place - that of turning America into a "third world nation.' In order to do this the middle class must be diminished and the corporate empire has to be fortified. A glance at these proposals certainly does both of those while assuring all power to the military industrial complex.
Looking at the disregard for the individual citizens, the ones who have been supporting this nation through annually paying their fair share in the form of taxes, the first proposal performs a huge part of the façade they will call "tax cut for the average American' similar to those enacted by the Reagan administration in the 80's when the deduction on credit card interest was taken away, only to see the interest on those accounts sky-rocket to those of the 1920 "Loan Shark" days when those demanding such rates were convicted. In this proposal the commission is desiring to take away the one deduction the average person has, and at present it is a deduction on their primary investment which has gone down in value, hence, they are in all probability paying out more than what that investment is worth. Now they are to be penalized even more by taking away that one deduction. At the same time they will tax the portion of health insurance provided by your employer (should you be fortunate enough to be employed. Let's not forget this assault on the average person's dollars comes at a time when millions of Americans are already hurting) The amount of that single deduction may well have them paying more in taxes even though the president and lawmakers can boast how they cut your taxes. Good show, it worked under Reagan, so it should work again. It has to as the people have no choice - pay or go to an already over-crowded prison - one that is "privatized' but paid for with your tax dollars.