Brian Faler
April 28, 2010

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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President Barack Obama’s debt commission started grappling with how to reduce the U.S. government’s red ink in the first of a series of meetings aimed at producing a plan to be sent to Congress.

The panel’s three-hour meeting yesterday produced little disagreement over the dimensions of the fiscal challenge, underscored by testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and White House Budget Director Peter Orszag on the potential for the nation’s debt eventually precipitating an economic crisis.

The challenge facing the panel is devising a plan proposing hundreds of billions in tax increases and spending cuts that can get backing from at least 14 of the 18 its members, the number needed to forward any plan to Capitol Hill, and then win support in Congress.

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