January 25th, 2010
05:32 PM ET
13 years ago

Blue-ribbon panel to develop anti-deficit advice


Former Sen. Pete Domenici, R-New Mexico, who is helping to lead the Debt Reduction Task Force, part of a group called the Bipartisan Policy Center. (Photo Credit: Paul Courson/CNN)

Washington (CNN) - A citizen task force made up of fiscal and political heavyweights hopes to come up with a bipartisan deficit-reduction strategy that Congress and the White House may use in crafting the federal budget.

"We're in this because America has probably the worst economic future that we've ever had," declared former Sen. Pete Domenici, R-New Mexico, who is helping to lead the Debt Reduction Task Force, part of a group called the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Domenici was chairman of the powerful Senate Budget Committee before his retirement. He was joined at a news conference Monday by Alice Rivlin, a Democrat who has been a director of the Congressional Budget Office and a vice-chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, among other positions.

Both acknowledged talk of cost-cutting budget panels from both the White House and Congress. Rivlin said her group intends to come up with a complete budget and a strategy that could be used as a guide to cutting the deficit.

At risk from failing to act, Domenici told reporters, is the fact China owns about half the loans the United States has needed to finance its overspending. It's not the same situation as in World War II, when Americans bought war bonds to help finance the fight.

The current deficit, he said, cannot be covered by raising taxes alone since "the United States, through its leaders, have made a big mistake - to give our people more than we can afford to pay for."

Rivlin, who will co-chair the task force with Domenici, said, "We're hoping to point out that the crisis is sufficiently imminent, so that we have to move ahead. And we think that is likely to be persuasive."

The panel intends to provide a draft budget and a deficit-reduction strategy by the end of the year, "but after the elections" in November, Rivlin noted.

Among the other economic experts on the panel are former U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez; Leonard Burman, a former deputy assistant treasury secretary; and Joe Minarik, former chief economist for the House Budget Committee.

Filed under: national debt
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Jerry-Dallas-Tx

    Can they start by advising Obama to end these $10Trillion wars! Consider ever increasing mandates on Veterans,aging population,increasing population needing basic education and healthcare and quite frankly decaying infrustructure......and yes need for advancement in technology.
    So,how far deep can we cut spending? How can we have tax cuts under such circumstances?
    Here is my suggestion:
    End these wars and secure the border.Lets fight "smart".That cuts billions in running costs and reduce casualties. We can take care of our soldiers as they train and help border security and other civil duties.
    With revenue saved,we can give tax cuts to corporations and induce local production back to this country with great multiplier effect.
    Charity begins at home and not unless economy is strong,we can never defend ourselves neither project globally.

    January 25, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  2. Zac, ATL

    Anyone remember the surpluses we used to have? That was 10 years ago...what happened?

    January 25, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  3. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    When President Obama's economic plans succeed, I just wonder what will be the Republicans comments. Maybe, we already know because they are fighting so hard to obstruct what they know will succeed.

    January 25, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  4. Illinoistom

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but don't we elect legislators to craft a fiscally responsible budget? Why do we need task forces or panels to tell them how to do a job they don't have the guts to do anyway?

    January 25, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  5. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    Step 1: Vote out every liberal Democrat in November
    Step 2: Vote out Obozo in 2012
    Step 3: Pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution

    January 25, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  6. Angi's mom

    This would be hilarious if it wasn't so Washington DC... A citizen task force made up with financial and political heavyweights (lol) to come up with a bipartisan (lol) policy draft sometime after November's election (lol) that could be used as a guide (lol) ...and likely to be persuasive (lol).

    Let's stop the wars and save a few trillion $.

    January 25, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  7. Unity

    This stuff makes my brain hurt. God help us.

    January 25, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
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