Wednesday, November 11, 2009

On Tackling Debt: Some Say 'Just Do It’

There is certainly no easy fix to the government’s massive debt. However, some Senators are saying that Congress is not making any progress in fixing the problem, and that “business as usual” is not working. Senator Evan Bayh (D-Indiana) has proposed that a special commission be created to force Congress to fix the budget deficit.

"Congress is not willing to take short-term pain for long-term pain," Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) told a Senate Budget Committee hearing Tuesday.

"Pain" in this context is defined as Congress enacting spending cuts and tax increases across the board to rein in the nation's massive debt load.

And the country's long-term debt load is massive: The interest on it alone could total $4.8 trillion between 2010 and 2019.

The proposed solution: "Institutional insurrection," as Sen. Bayh put it. "Business as usual in Washington is not going to solve the problem."

Specifically, Bayh and others are proposing the creation of a bipartisan commission that would come up with ways to cut the deficit and then propose legislation on which lawmakers would vote "yes" or "no." Period.

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