Only 19 days after credit rating service Moody’s announced the United States was at risk of losing its top-notch triple-A credit rating due to soaring healthcare and social security spending, Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) said he would “insist” his committee vote on a proposal to create a bipartisan commission to study the long-term fiscal problem proposed by Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
BNA (subscription required) reports that Conrad “was adamant” fellow Senators vote on his plan to create a 16-member commission in 2008. The panel would consist of 14 members of Congress divided evenly between the parties plus two executive branch representatives. A super majority of the panel would be required to send recommendations to Congress and three-fifths of both houses would be required for an up or down vote.
Currently, every child born in America carries a $175,00 debt burden to pay for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Our long-term fiscal outlook is grim. A task force like Conrad’s could help curb the unsustainable trends in entitlement spending. Getting Senators on record, for or against, such a panel will help show which of our leaders really care about the country’s future financial health.