Friday, March 22, 2013

Political Abrogation - Commissions

When  politicians want to avoid the responsibility of their jobs it seems they form a commission.  They then study the subject at hand and turn the results of their findings back to the politicians.  Most often those findings are ignored.  But it gets the politician off the hook for either a bad decision or an unpopular one.

Now when I see a commission being proposed a red flag goes up.  What's one of the hot button issues of the day?  Social Security solvency. It's a hot button issue because the politicians use it as a scare tactic then wonder why they can't come to a consensus on what to do. So form a commission to study it.

The suggestion that it stay as is for those 55 and older but revised for those younger seems eminently fair to me.  Especially since one of the options for the under 55 set would be to stay in the system as is.  What more can you ask for?  What more can a politician ask for?

Anything but something sensible it would seem.  Something so innocuous that no one could be blamed for anything.  Or given credit for - especially solving the problem.

That's why Dick Durbin, D-IL, wants to form a commission to study it.  The hyperbole sounds good.  They would have 180 days to come up with a plan.  When it gets to the point 14 members of the commission agree it would go to both chambers for a vote.

Here's where it all falls apart.  Mr. Durbin wants an 18 member bipartisan commission.  Tough way to start - with an even number.  With only 14 needed to move it to the floor there would be no need for a tie breaker.  Of course there wouldn't. If they can get to fourteen. The devil is in the details.  He wants six appointed by the Senate which is held by the Democrats.  Six from the House which is Republican.  And six from the President.  Now you have a stacked deck guaranteeing nothing will get done and Social Security will continue it's downward spiral. And no one gets blamed. Bipartisan? Maybe not so much.

Why don't you politicians all go back to square one and look at the most sensible solution out there?  If you can improve on it among yourselves, do so.  It's what you're being paid to do.  But don't shuffle it off to the obscurity of a commission!

If you can't handle the pressure of making a decision it's time for you to go.  As a friend reminded me a couple of days ago, 2016 is coming.  I'm not so sure about my Social Security check.

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