Deficit Panel Split; Painful Package in Doubt

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President Obama's federal deficit commission outlined a sweeping plan Wednesday to cut the nation's deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years.
     
The president asked the 18-member bipartisan panel to devise a plan to reduce the nation's deficits and redirect the country from its unsustainable fiscal path.

The end result was a report called "The Moment of Truth." The document outlines a set of tough choices to reign in the country's runaway debt.
     
The commission said the nation can no longer ignore its $13.8 trillion national debt and this year's projected $1.3 trillion deficit. Some of the panel's recommendations include:  

  • Raising the Social Security retirement age from 66 now to 69 by the year 2075.
  • Increasing the payroll tax for wealthier recipients and reducing Social Security benefits.
  • Increasing the gasoline tax by 15 cents beginning in 2013. 

Dr. Charles Dunn, a distinguished professor at Regent University, talked more about the deficit commission's plan on the CBN News Channel's Midday News, Dec. 2. Click play to watch the interview.

Although members of the commission agreed that some action should to be taken, there was still widespread disagreement on precisely what that action might be. The painful package of spending cuts and tax increases drew sharp challenges from panel members on both the left and right.

"While there are things in this plan I dislike intensely, I don't see another alternative," Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said.

"I do not believe that this sufficiently fixes the health care problem," Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said. "And guess what? Our debt problem is the health care problem."

The commission is scheduled to vote on the report on Friday.

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