It's official: President Obama today created the bipartisan fiscal commission
he proposed in his State of the Union message. Of course, the commission itself is just a step toward a plan – but what are our options for that plan?
The Choosing the Nation's Fiscal Future report
has lots of options, and there's additional commentary from the report's authors on what needs to be done at the Our Fiscal Future
web site, including from Public Agenda president Ruth Wooden
The leaders of the new deficit commission are: Democrat Erskine Bowles
, a North Carolina banker and former White House chief of staff, and Republican Alan Simpson
, the former senator from Wyoming.
The panel, which is to deliver its recommendations by Dec. 1, will have less authority than would that in the recent Conrad-Gregg proposal
that failed to win Congressional approval. Announcing the commission, the president emphasized that the accumulated weight of the deficit could hobble the economy
and said "everything's on the table." At the same time, Obama pledged that in the short term, taking steps to encourage businesses to create jobs will continue to be top priority.
A sampling of react and related stories from around the web: thoughts from the economics blog Capital Gains and Games
and The Wall Street Journal
on the naming of the GOP members of the commission; Catherine Rampell
of the New York Times, putting the panel in context, with a look at other entities bent on fiscal prudence; Time Magazine
, on stimulus spending and deficit danger; and rumblings from Kathleen Sebelius
that the Democrats will come together and post a single health care reform proposal by Monday, in advance of Obama's Feb. 25 bipartisan health care summit.