Drowning in Debt: What the Nation's Budget Woes Mean for You

"The basic outline [of Obama's plan] is appropriate, but we reach out for the 'magic aspirin' in the form of a [budget] commission" and I'm just not sure if that will work, said Robert Reischauer, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and president of the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan economic research center.

The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility, to be co-chaired by former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles and former Senate Republican Whip Alan Simpson, will try to issue its plan by December -- after the midterm elections.

For now, the presidential commission may be the best politically-gridlocked Washington can do until lawmakers from both parties demostrate a more vigorous willingness to tackle an ever-ominous fiscal problem.

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