President Obama’s Debt Commission announced on Wednesday proposing sweeping changes to the country. Cuts in the military, raising the retirement ago to 69 years old, eliminating the mortgage interest deduction just to name a few. From the Wall Street Journal:
The leaders of a White House commission laid out a sweeping proposal to cut the federal budget deficit by hundreds of billions a year by targeting sacrosanct areas of U.S. tax and spending policy, such as Social Security benefits, middle-class tax breaks and defense spending.
The preliminary plan in its current form would end or cap a wide range of breaks relied on by the middle class—including the deduction for home-mortgage interest. It would tax capital gains and dividends at the higher rates now levied on wage income. To compensate, one version of the plan would dramatically lower and simplify individual rates, to 9%, 15% and 24%.
Not everyone is thrilled of the Cuts and changes prescribes:
But liberal panel members were less enthusiastic. Sen. Richard Durbin (D., Ill.) said he wouldn’t vote for it, saying that “there are things in there that I hate like the devil hates holy water.”
Some important interest groups were sharply critical, particularly over curbs on entitlement spending. The plans authors “just told working Americans to ‘Drop Dead,”‘ said AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka. “Especially in these tough economic times, it is unconscionable to be proposing cuts to the critical economic lifelines for working people, Social Security and Medicare.”
The conservative Americans for Tax Reform also blasted the plan. “It confirms what everyone has known—this commission is merely an excuse to raise net taxes on the American people,” the group said in a written statement. Supporting the plan would violate the group’s no-new-taxes pledge, which many Republicans and some Democrats in Congress have signed, it warned.
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