Late last week, Colorado Democratic U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall called for action following the release of a stunning report from President Barack Obama's 18-member Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform that proposed a range of painful spending cuts, the scaling back of some tax deductions, and even increasing the Social Security retirement age. Eleven of the bi-partisan commission's 18 members voted for the proposal, which intended to shave $4 trillion from the federal deficit, but it was short of a required two-thirds majority. Bennet says he's "disappointed that the commission was unable to achieve the necessary consensus to send its recommendations to Congress but encouraged that it received a majority vote" (via the Denver Daily News). Udall hopes the report will serve as the basis of debate and action in the near future: "I firmly believe that we can't let this become yet another report that sits on the shelf to gather dust."
The proposal has received much cooler responses from the likes of U.S. Representative-elect Cory Gardner, the Republican who will replace Democrat Betsy Markey in the state's 4th Congressional District in January (via the Fort Collins Coloradoan). "I look forward to cutting spending without raising taxes and will continue to analyze the proposals set forth by the commission," Gardner says, without offering specific recommendations for reducing the nation's staggering deficit.