The President has another commission in effect. I don't think we've ever had this many commissions in operation at the same time. So this one is formed up of 18 members...ten are Democrat and eight are Republican. They have until December to hand some suggestions to the President. The key feature of this group...is that only those things agreed upon by fourteen of the eighteen...go forward.
I sat there listening to this on CNN the other night. I tried hard to envision how you would function. First, you'd go around and discuss cuts. It's hard to see how you'd get fourteen guys to agree to cut one single thing. Then you'd go around and discuss increasing taxes....and it's hard to see fourteen guys agreeing to one single thing. Then you'd order lunch....sip some tin and tonics in the afternoon, and probably watch Glenn Beck around 5PM.
The timing of this also was something to ponder about. You wait till after the November elections....when the Republicans are slated to win the House control, and likely have forty-eight senators in the senate. Then you...as the President would toss two dozen changes into the fireplace? Frankly, I don't see that happening....especially, if you say tax increases are the item to jump on.
Then you ask this really stupid question....why didn't you just say a eight percent cut around the table for every cabinet group...and let them decide on their own? I realize congress would have marginalized that....but at least they know their own business. This eighteen member group are all political players....so I doubt they know anything about national parks, swamp protection projects, Army helicopters, or federal property in the Ozarks.
It would appear that this is just a pony show of sorts. You'd make a fine speech or two over the commission's ideas...and then fall flat in January as you tried to get congress onto this.
Course, if you are in serious jeopardy with debts surging and income just not recovering....then you've got a four-star mess in March of 2011. Oh, and did I forget to mention JOBS?
I was almost finished with this commission....but then I looked over the membership. There was Andy Stern. Andy is the former president of the left-wing Service Employees International Union. Andy also is a weekly visitor to the President. Everything that the commission talks about...hour by hour...goes straight to the President within each week, compliments of Andy, I would imagine. I would also guess that Andy ensures that no personnel cuts occur with union members across the government.
The value of this type of commission? I don't think they can reach any conclusion. I'd be shocked if they come up with a dozen ideas...and none of them would involve cuts on government employees.