Deficit commission

The Obama administration’s deficit reduction commission – conveniently set to issue its recommendations a few weeks after the November elections — is supposed to come up with ways to balance the federal budget by 2015.

Everything is “on the table,” panel members have vowed.

But as word of its work leaks, it increasingly appears that the only thing “on the table” will be the American taxpayer.

In addition to the possibility of imposing a value-added tax on consumers, the panel is also apparently looking at scaling back or eliminating many popular tax deductions, including mortgage interest, as well as tax credits for children.

And what will taxpayers – about to take a hit that will cost them in the trillions of dollars — get in return? “The officials are also looking at potential cuts to defense spending and a freeze on domestic discretionary spending,” The Washington Post reports.

In other words, virtually nothing. It would be one thing if the board proposed actually simplifying the system by getting rid of all deductions – along with the IRS – and shifting to a flat tax rate of, say, 15 percent. But instead, these proposals are just a giant money grab to ensure Washington can continue to keep beltway bureaucracies living in the lavish style to which they’ve become accustomed at the expense of the private-sector taxpayers who must foot the bill.

“My concern is that the talk of tax expenditures is couched as ‘tax reform,’ but it’s not tax reform,” Alison Fraser of the Heritage Foundation told the Post. “It’s simply a revenue-raising exercise.”


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