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Debt Commission Report Targets Social Security, Medicare


First Posted: 11/10/10 12:58 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:10 PM ET

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Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) avoided a simple endorsement or rejection of the co-chairs' proposals Wednesday. Instead, Wyden compared the chairmen's recommendations to those put forward in the tax reform bill he co-sponsored with Sen. Judd Greg (R-N.H.):

“The Fiscal Commission demonstrates what Senator Gregg and I have spent the last year saying: By eliminating what amounts to tax earmarks for special interests, it is possible to simplify the tax code, promote economic growth and cut taxes for the vast majority of American families and businesses. Obviously, what the Fiscal Commission terms 'Wyden-Gregg style reform' does not, in some respects, go as far as Wyden-Gregg does in simplifying filing for individuals and families and scaling back the corporate rate. While in other respects, it goes too far. For example, Senator Gregg and I considered limits on mortgage and charitable deductions too politically controversial to include in our legislation. But what I hope people will take away from the Fiscal Commission’s report is the fact that, when it comes to taxes, Congress needs to do more than simply vote on an extension of the Bush Tax Cuts. Extending a broken tax system will do nothing more than extend the current economic stagnation. If my colleagues are serious about creating jobs and growing the economy while addressing the nation’s fiscal health we need to get serious about comprehensive tax reform.”

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HuffPost attended the White House deficit commission's presser in Dirksen this afternoon and thought it looked just like one of Steny Hoyer's weekly pen-and-pads sessions (lots of familiar faces), only with Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson at the head of the roundtable, speechifying and fielding questions. As they discussed the finer points of how to reduce the country's budget deficit and eliminate fiscal waste, they passed around stacks of color copies of their proposal. HuffPost noticed their proposals on how to cut spending were written in 32-point font and using only one side of each page. Something else that set the event apart from a Hoyer pen-and pad: Social Security Work's Alex Lawson was initially thrown out of the event, after being told it was for press only. "I walked back in when things had gotten started and people wouldn't want to fuss with me in front of the cameras," Lawson told HuffPost post event.

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