President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform is meeting today as part of its efforts to craft recommendations by December on how best to address America's red-ink problem.
Mr. Obama established the commission in February, saying debt and deficits can "hobble our economy" and "saddle every child in America with an intolerable burden."
Yet the president's decision to establish a commission to address a problem he described as potentially catastrophic seems odd in light of his earlier criticism of commissions in general. As Ari Shapiro noted on National Public Radio today, the president mocked the notion of commissions to address problems back when he was a candidate.
Here's Mr. Obama on September 18, 2008, not long after the economic collapse: "Senator McCain's first answer to this economic crisis was - get ready for it - a commission. That's Washington-speak for 'we'll get back to you later.'"
"Folks, we don't need a commission to spend a few years and a lot of taxpayer money to tell us what's going on in our economy," he continued. "We don't need a commission to tell us gas prices are high or that you can't pay your bills. We don't need a commission to tell us you're losing your jobs. We don't need a commission to study this crisis, we need a President who will solve it - and that's the kind of President I intend to be."