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Deficit Reduction: Democrat Warner, Republican Chambliss Push for Plan

4 years ago
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Conservative Republican Saxby Chambliss and moderate Democrat Mark Warner are determined to keep hope alive when it comes to shrinking the nation's budget deficit -- and taking a hard look at the controversial recommendations of the president's deficit-cutting panel.

"The way you do it is put everything on the table," Chambliss said last week to reporters from the Washington Post and other news outlets. "It is critically important to get a plan in place in the next 12 months."

Warner (D-Va.) and Chambliss (R-Ga.) have formed an ad hoc "working group" that includes at least 20 senators, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. "I'm not sure yet whether we're going to do a package, or if there's just some rifle shots to be fired," Chambliss told the newspaper. ". . . But when we get back [in January], we're going to be ready to move." And, the second-term senator told the Post, "We're not starting with folks on the far right or the far left taking shots at this. We're starting with a group that's in the middle, and we're growing out."

Saxby ChamblissThe attempt to frame a deficit-cutting plan that can win approval on Capitol Hill follows the report on Dec. 1 of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Those recommendations for cutting and pinching government spending in the face of trillion dollar-plus annual deficits took plenty of hits from the political left and right.

The report was approved 11-7 by the president's panel, but that was three votes short of the 14 needed to guarantee consideration by Congress. The commission called for reductions in defense spending, gradually raising the retirement age for Social Security, rolling back the home mortgage deduction and numerous other cuts bound to offend one special interest or another.

Warner and Chambliss want to use that report as a starting point for what might be legislatively doable on Capitol Hill. It is important, Chambliss said, to get a plan in place next year -- before the onset of the political pressures of the 2012 presidential election campaign. In the meantime, Warner said the informal group has agreed to a "cease-fire on immediately criticizing each other's ideas."

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8 Comments

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wesxauto

The greedy goverment is now under fire to clean itsself up and if the republicans can show a meaningfull attempt at spending cuts in even small ways that add up the republicans will be in power for along time. Our democrats showed a very ugly hand again by keeping Pelosi and Reid as failures in the eyes of voters.

December 22 2010 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tistolaugh

With dems retaining the WH and Senate, I am not optimistic in the plan to reduce the deficit. The backbone of the dem party is social programs and other trillion dollar plans to create more voting blocks. Ironically the politicians resemble the right and are mostly weathly to ultra-wealthy and their programs seemed to design to assist but rarely actually lift anyone out of their social prdicaments, because that would destroy the dependent voting base.

December 21 2010 at 11:39 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
boboberg2

The Republicans are truly the party of anti-intellectualism. A poll came out today that showed 52% of all Republicans believe in strict creationism, that mankind has only been here 10,000 years and that evolution is not valid. Add this to the hare-brained Republican mantra that global warming is not true and you have a scary number of ignorant people populating the Republican party. Sarah Palin is emblematic of the type of idiots we are now seeing surface in the Republican party. It's a circular firing squad and the Republicans are all crack shots! Mark Montgomery NYC, NY boboberg@nyc.rr.com

December 21 2010 at 4:24 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to boboberg2's comment
muffin83e

Nothing new here. As the Gallup Poll states, Most Americans believe in God, and about 85% have a religious identity. American attitudes and the basic structure of beliefs about human beings' origins is generally the same as it was in the early 1980s. Dems. and Reps. alike share these views, although to a lesser belief in creationism among Dems.

December 22 2010 at 10:08 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
ettu

Cut the THOUSANDS of gov't employees added by the Obama administration, and get their pay/pensions/benefits in line with the private sector, and on the same healthcare options. There was a report yesterday that a school teacher who works to age 59 years, or for more than 20 years, and earns $78,000, will be entitled to approx $58,000 pension. One making $110,000, under the same parameters, would be entitled to $89,000. How can this be sustained? They are raising retirement for the private sector, and cutting SS and Medicare, but a gov't worked can realistically work to 55, collect a huge pension, while holding another job. This cannot continue.

December 21 2010 at 3:09 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
kpbrott

I see this playing out just like the health care debacle. They will spend a year and a half kicking this around resulting in a non-productive outcome while other issues which could actually invigorate our economy and the employment situation are ignored and they inflate the deficit further with their own payrolls and pet projects.

December 21 2010 at 1:01 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
dc walker

There hasn't been a spending bill Warner hasn't voted for, why the switch??

December 21 2010 at 12:50 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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