Maybe this was obvious to everyone else, and I’m just a little slow. The debt commission finally makes sense to me now, after seeing this:
Co-chairman of debt commission calls job ‘suicide mission’
It wasn’t created to reduce the debt or the deficit, we all know that. The answer to that problem is really simple: knock off the insane spending. The problem for Washington is that when spending cuts come, who gets the blame? Congress (specifically, the House) controls the purse strings. The president makes a number of spending “recommendations” and many of the funded agencies are run by the executive branch.
The “debt commission” is little more than a way for the Whitehouse and members of Congress to cover their asses, and to give themselves a a chance to point at someone else and blame them for any proposed spending cuts or tax hikes. When it inevitably comes to light how incredibly unpopular the VAT tax is, members of Congress will throw up their hands and say things like “A bi-partisan, independent panel said we must do this, don’t blame me!”
Welcome to the new era of transparency and ethics in government.
The idea of a value-added tax has generated a lot of controversy in Washington in recent weeks, as top officials connected to the Obama administration have openly discussed its implications. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs insists the president is not considering it, but Obama himself appeared open to the idea in an interview last week.