Funny How They Didn't Say This Two Weeks Ago

After all the demagoguing by the Dems duing the election cycle, here's what the president's debt commission has to say about how to balance the budget.

A presidential commission’s leaders proposed a $3.8 trillion deficit-cutting plan that would cut Social Security and Medicare, reduce income-tax rates and eliminate tax breaks including the mortgage-interest deduction.

The co-chairmen of the panel appointed by President Barack Obama suggested reducing Social Security spending by raising the retirement age to 68 in about 2050 and 69 in about 2075. The plan also would slow the rate at which benefits grow. The savings would come between 2012 and 2020.

“This country’s out of money and we better start thinking,” said co-chairman Erskine Bowles. Without “tough choices,” he said, “we’re on the most predictable path toward an economic crisis that I can imagine.”

Bowles, former President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, and Republican former Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming announced the proposal in Washington today, stressing that it was intended as a starting point for discussion.

Everyone will have to come out of hiding and start talking honestly about solutions, won't they?

None of the proposals would take effect next year to avoid disrupting the economic recovery. Bowles said income-tax rates would be reduced to three levels: 8 percent, 14 percent and 23 percent.

Wiping out all tax breaks, including the home mortgage deduction, while lowering rates would save $100 billion a year, Bowles said. Members of the panel could decide to keep some tax breaks by offering offsetting cuts, he said.