Thursday, February 18, 2010

President Orders Debt Panel, Names Chairmen

President Barack Obama issued an executive order this morning to formally create his debt panel. The goal is to help get our country’s debt under control, and Obama has even appointed a new chairman for the commission. The 18-member panel is expected to deliver a report to the Presidents desk December 1st, with well thought out recommendations for lowering the deficit.

Raising taxes, cutting spending and reforming Medicare and Social Security are all fair game, and thought to be impossible without the backing of both Republicans and Democrats.

"Everything's on the table. That's how this thing is going to work," the President said immediately after signing the order.

The commission must deliver a report to the President by Dec. 1 that makes recommendations for bringing annual deficits to no more than 3% of the size of the economy, as measured by gross domestic product, or GDP. Currently annual deficits for the next decade are on track to be well above that level.

The commission will also be expected to suggest ways to permanently lower the country's total debt - currently expected to hit 77% of GDP in 2020, according to the White House Budget Office.

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