Deficit Commission Under Scrutiny for Outside Ties
Posted on Nov 10, 2010
On Wednesday, a special task force assembled by the Obama administration to deal with the ever-burgeoning U.S. deficit, aka the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, made some controversial recommendations vis-à-vis federal programs such as Social Security.
So it comes as little surprise that the commission and its members have become the subject of scrutiny by detractors from the left and right sides of the political spectrum, and according to The Washington Post, one standout issue is that some employees of the panel aren’t paid from the inside.
The Washington Post:
Instead, about one in four commission staffers is paid by outside entities, many of which have strong ideological points of view about how to tackle the deficit.
For example, the salaries of two senior staffers, Marc Goldwein and Ed Lorenzen, are paid by private groups that have previously advocated cuts to entitlement programs. Lorenzen is paid by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, while Goldwein is paid by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which is also partly funded by the Peterson group.
The outsourcing has come under sharp criticism from seniors’ organizations and liberal activists, who say the strategy is part of a broader conservative bias favoring painful entitlement cuts over other solutions. The fears of some liberal groups appeared to come true on Wednesday, when the commission’s two leaders recommended significant reductions for Social Security and other social-welfare programs.