Here is a question I have been pondering. If you were a member of the fiscal commission, what would you try to achieve?
The answer for liberals is easy: They want to raise taxes to fund the existing, and even an expanded, social safety net, while politically insulating the Democrats as much as possible from the charge of being the "tax and spend" party. President Obama can then campaign in 2012 that he did not break his no-taxes-on-the-middle-class pledge, but rather a bipartisan group broke it. That is, the President wants to take credit for fixing the fiscal situation but duck responsibility for having imposed higher taxes.
But what if you are conservative? This is harder. You can try to stick to your no-tax-increase position. The problem is that doing so would require spending cuts larger than are politically realistic. If I were king, I bet I could find sufficient spending cuts. But I am not expecting to be anointed any time soon. If the fiscal commission is going to succeed, tax increases will have to be part of the deal.
the rest is here:
Greg Mankiw's Blog: Thoughts about the Fiscal Commission