The Committee from Outer Space, otherwise know as the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, has just released its recommendations for solving the nation’s fiscal crisis, an assortment of non-starters that will guarantee the report’s place gathering dust on bureaucrats’ shelves for decades to come.
Obama appointed The Committee from Outer Space to come up with an “independent” plan including unpalatable prescriptions for the nation’s fiscal ills, hoping it would give him cover to make some tough decisions. Unfortunately, it looks like he’s going to have to lead on this one all by his lonesome self.
One of Obama’s most notable achievements as president has been to refine responsibility shirking to an art form.
He’s blamed Bush for everything bad that’s happened during his presidency, save the death of actor Leslie Nielsen this week. He let congressional Democrats write the health care bill and the stimulus package, alienating Republicans and resulting in NO GOP support for either. He’s basically withdrawn the United States from its leadership role on the world stage.
The Commission from Outer Space, which he appointed in February, has come up with a plan to raise the retirement age to 69; jack up taxes on average taxpayers about $1,700 per year in part by abolishing the deduction of mortgage interest; end tax-free treatment of employer-paid health insurance; slash defense in time of war; and other proposals collected during their interplanetary travels.
Of course, it’s too late for Obama to do something serious about the deficit. He decided to spend his political capital on health care and allowed Congress to eat up 18 months getting it through.
We now have about six months to do anything vaguely controversial in Congress before the start of the presidential campaign season makes that impossible. A severely wounded president and a Republican Party hungry to complete its seizure of power just ain’t gonna get it done.
We’ll need a new mandate from voters in 2012 in order to get the country back on a path toward fiscal responsibility. In the interim, the best Obama and the Republicans can do is abide by the doctors’ maxim, “First do no harm.”