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Federal Employees News Digest : Nov. 26, 2012
INSIGHT by Mike Causey continued from page 1 Kristi Dougherty General Manager Phil Piemonte Managing Editor Sherkiya Wedgeworth Online Managing Editor Becky Fenton Circulation Manager Nathan Abse Writer Mike Causey Columnist Edward Zurndorfer Columnist Published by 1105 Government Information Group, Anne Armstrong, President. 1105 Government Information Group is part of 1105 Media, Inc. Neal Vitale, CEO. 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FEDERAL EMPLOYEES NEWS DIGEST (ISSN 1065-0970) is published weekly except first week in January and last week in December by 1105 Media, Inc., 9201 Oakdale Avenue, Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311. Annual subscription rate is: US $99. Subscription inquiries and customer service: Mail to: Federal Employees News Digest, PO Box 15428, N. Hollywood, CA 91615-5428, customerservice@feder- aldaily.com or call (800) 989-3363, fax (818) 487-4550. © Copyright 2012 by 1105 Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproductions inwhole or part prohibited except by written permission. Mail requests to "Permissions Editor," c/o Federal Employees News Digest, 8609 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 500, Vienna, VA 22182-2215 or editor@ federaldaily.com. The information in this newsletter has not undergone any formal testing by 1105 Media, Inc. and is dis- tributed without any warranty expressed or implied. Implementation or use of any information contained herein is the reader's sole responsibility. While the information has been reviewed for accuracy, there is no guarantee that the same or similar results may be achieved in all environments. Technical inaccuracies may result from printing errors and/or new develop- ments in the industry. This publication's subscriber list, as well as other lists from 1105 Media, Inc., is available for rental. For more information, please contact our list manager, Merit Direct. Phone: (914) 368-1000; E-mail: 1105media@ meritdirect.com; Web: www.meritdirect.com/1105. November 26, 2012 Vol. 62, No. 20 2 visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com say they have great ideas. Assuming they are correct, the problem is that not enough people on the other side---or sometimes within their own party---agree with the ideas. Or they appoint commissions, panels and blue ribbon groups who, if they come up with any proposals, are promptly ignored---even (and sometimes espe- cially) by the people who appointed them. The Simpson-Bowles commission, authorized by the White House, was supposed to be the solution. It was co-chaired by a respected former sen- ator, Republican Alan Simpson from Wyoming, and an equally respected former Democratic White House offi- cial, Erskine Bowles. The commission's membership made it look like a winner even before it started. It included respected heavy-hitters from Congress and the business community, including Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who later on was nominated to run as vice president. Ryan was a hero to many because of his knowledge of the budget. And he also was seen as a hero or villain because of some of the things he pro- posed before and after being on the commission. Designed like the BRAC (base realignment and closure) commis- sion, the idea was that the Simpson- Bowles group would propose tough cuts. The White House was supposed to forward those ideas, with a little pain for everyone, to Congress. Then the House and Senate were supposed to vote them up or down, and that would be that. Done deal. Except ... It didn't work that way. Some members, like Ryan, balked at the proposals. The White House cherry-picked a couple of ideas, Congress pretty much ignored the commission, and it went away, although many said the proposals it made would become the matrix for some kind of save-the-government grand design this year. President Obama did adopt a couple of the recommendations. The com- mission proposed a three-year fed- eral pay freeze. The president imple- mented instead a two-year freeze, as you well know, and now Congress and the White House have agreed to extend it at least through March 31, 2013. Now comes a new idea which, backers---dare I say "insiders"---are floating: Appoint another commission. The co-chairs, the dream team, would be former President Bill Clinton---a very popular Democratic ex-president who has more political capital, and skills, than almost anyone around, maybe anybody---and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a popular and well-known Republican who--- even critics say---is a very sharp busi- nessman and CEO with a consultant's ability to think outside the box. Then let the commission tackle tax reform and entitlements. Let them call the shots and be done with it. Will it happen? If so, will it work? At this point, my crystal ball becomes cloudy. But with little time left before the political version of end times, and with the stock market beginning to tank, it might be worth a shot.
Nov. 19, 2012
Dec. 3, 2012