Jeb HensarlingGeorge F. Will

Representative Jeb Hensarling is serving on Obama’s Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and its 18 members are approaching their fiscal goals rather like Sumo wrestlers: with a lot of mutual staring but no contact as yet. Budget-balancing (excluding debt service) and finding ways to “meaningfully improve the long-run fiscal outlook” are the commission’s main goals. But Hensarling says this creates a harmful distraction from the real problem: long-term debt incurred from Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare. A record number of American citizens are concerned about deficits. Thus, when the commission gives its report in December, Congress will be populated with members potentially emboldened–but not legitimized–by their lack of political future.

Will is a twice-weekly columnist for The Post, writing about foreign and domestic politics and policy.

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