The President’s fiscal commission is dividing its work among three subgroups that will focus on taxes, discretionary spending, and mandatory spending for programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
These working groups will meet on Wednesdays, on a rotating basis. The full commission, which consists of presidential and congressional appointees from both parties, plans to meet once a month until Dec. 1, when its recommendations to Congress and the White House are due.
The commission is soliciting comments and suggestions from the public, as explained on its website at fiscalcommission.gov. Email comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The commission is charged with finding solutions to both the short-term and long-term fiscal challenges facing the country. Concord has urged the panel to concentrate on the long-term issues, which are where the commission stands its best chance of having an impact.
The importance of the commission's work was underscored last week when the International Monetary Fund released a report on the fiscal difficulties facing countries around the world, including the United States. The IMF warned that gross government debt could exceed 100 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product by 2015.
The next meeting of the president's commission is scheduled for May 26. Any final recommendations will need support from 14 of the panel's 18 members, a high hurdle that will require a focused effort and willingness to compromise.