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A commission for tough fiscal issues

U.S. House of Representatives

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: In Congress today, the focus is on those two untouchables: Social Security and Medicare. A House committee looks at ways to deal with the issues rather than avoid them. Jeremy Hobson has more from Washington.


Jeremy Hobson: The Budget Committee will hear from David Walker of the Peterson Foundation. He's in favor of creating a bi-partisan commission by next year to give politicians cover from issues they'd rather not touch.

David Walker: Tough choices are going to have to be made, and the commission may provide a means for those choices to be made sooner rather than later.

Bob Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities will also testify -- but he doesn't think a commission is the way to solve tough fiscal challenges.

Bob Greenstein: I say that as someone who was a commissioner on the last deficit reduction commission, which was a complete failure.

Greenstein says legislation to create a commission should be put on hold until there's a new president and a new Congress. But he says elected leaders will still have to do the tough negotiating themselves.

Greenstein: A commission cannot succeed in forcing the speaker, the president, the majority and minority leaders to reach agreement if they're not inclined to do so.

In Washington, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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