If Kent Conrad supports the Deficit Commission’s recommendations does that make those recommendations ‘bipartisan’? I don’t think it does. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that that commission couldn’t come up with recommendations that can win bipartisan support. The two parties disagree too much. For me to support the report, I’d need to see either Dick Durbin or Jan Schakowsky supporting it. They aren’t. I like the hardship exemption for the raising of the Social Security retirement age and I support doing away with preferred tax rates for capital gains and dividends. I think a 15-cent hike in the gas tax is a good idea, and I like this (at least in theory):

…the report recommends a legislative trigger that would raise taxes automatically unless a comprehensive overhaul is approved by 2013.

But, the proposal focuses too much on public sector benefits and not enough on the costs of private sector health care. It lowers corporate taxes and income taxes on the rich at a time when they owe all of us for the carnage they produced in our jobs markets and retirement security.

We need some kind of deal to address the structural budget deficit. I was willing to wait an see what the commission produced before I dubbed it the ‘Catfood Commission.’ But I am not impressed with what they produced. It’s not something I would vote for. So, I can’t endorse it.

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