Why Is It So Hard to Understand that the Fiscal Commission Never Issued a Report

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Monday, 27 June 2011 20:38

The rules under which President Obama's fiscal commission were formed are very clear. They required that any report must be approved by a vote of 14 of the 18 members. The rules also required that the vote take place by December 1, the date that the commission went out of existence.

As it turned out, there was no plan approved by 14 of the 18 commissioners. Nor was there a formal vote taken by the members of the commission before December 1, although 11 of the 18 members did indicate support for a plan from the co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson on December 2, the day after the commission went out of existence.

This means that there is no commission report. We can assume that when reporters at the Hill or other publications refer to the Bowles-Simpson report as the commission's report that they are telling us that they like the report. However they are not conveying information accurately to readers.