Today’s question:

What could President Barack Obama’s deficit commission do to have a strong effect on policy-makers?

Michelle D. Bernard, president & CEO of the Independent Women’s Forum, said:

Nothing. There is absolutely nothing that any deficit commission can do to encourage the spending-addicted Congress to do their jobs and actually reduce outlays to bring the budget into balance. The soon to-be-retired because nothing works in Congress Evan Bayh and Senator John McCain were on the right path in proposing The Fiscal Freeze Act of 2010 which would include a spending freeze and  earmark moratorium until the federal budget is balanced; make the President’s proposed freeze on non-security discretionary funding law, create a line item veto that passes constitutional muster so that the President can “weed out wasteful spending items”, and give the annual Congressional budget resolution the force of law.” . Only Congress can do this, not a powerless, unelected deficit commission. In the short-term, it is going to be up to the President to show that it’s time to get serious about spending and veto bills that include unnecessary spending and waste.

Ultimately, only voters will be able to force their elected representatives to radically alter the government’s spending habits to bring down long-term deficits. We have seen it happen in NJ, where Gov. Christie campaigned on the need to slash state spending; voters elected him and now he is making good on his promise with a spending freeze and by offering major cuts that would fundamentally change the state. If the public wants responsible budgets, they’ll have to make it the number one issue in the next election and vote only for who are truly committed to reducing the size of government.