Blue-Ribbon Commissions and a Deficit of Courage

The President is serious about deficits. So serious that he brought out the last resort of every President, Governor and Mayor in the last two or three decades: he appointed a blue-ribbon commission to solve our deficit crisis.

Pardon the cynicism, but if you really think this will fix anything you've lost your mind.

The thing is, we already have the ability to fix this problem. Contrary to how we normally regard politicians in Washington, most of them are intelligent, rational people. They have at least the basic math skills of an eighth grade student and know that you can't keep spending more than you have and hope that it will all just even out. The US government does not have a rich uncle on life support that is going to bail it out.

There are 435 Representatives, 100 Senators and a President and Vice-President elected by the people to govern and to lead. Part of governing - the most crucial part in my estimation - is setting priorities and writing a budget that reflects them. We have budget, appropriations, finance and a host of other committees in both Houses of Congress that should be able to solve the problem of $1.6 trillion deficits. That's what they are there for anyway.

But that's not what we have. We don't have congressmen and senators willing to work on this with any sincerity. They want political cover so that they don't have to make the hard decisions. They don't have the courage to do what needs to be done. Instead they make speeches about "fiscal responsibility" and "pay-go" and "making the 'tough' choices." But they don't ever make any tough choices.

They are going to hide behind a commission of unelected "statesmen" that will return ineffective recommendations and likely only add to government bureaucracy without addressing the structural problems of our entitlements. This isn't leadership. It's passing the buck and hoping no one will notice. The members of Congress who voted for or endorsed this commission should be ashamed of themselves. It is painfully obvious that they are not interested in doing their jobs or anything resembling courage.

They know what needs to be done. The President - with all of his economic and budgetary advisers - know what needs to be done. Get it done and get it done now.