There seems to be some puzzlement as to why liberals are skittish about the deficit commission. There's actually a very, very good reason for that and it goes back to the very beginning of the administration, before the deficit fetishists had even had the chance to work the country into a state of frothing hysteria:
I asked the president-elect, "At the end of the day, are you really talking about over the course of your campaign some kind of grand bargain? That you have tax reform, healthcare reform, entitlement reform including Social Security and Medicare, where everybody in the country is going to have to sacrifice something, accept change for the greater good?"
"Yes," Obama said.
"And when will that get done?" I asked.
"Well, right now, I’m focused on a pretty heavy lift, which is making sure we get that reinvestment and recovery package in place. But what you described is exactly what we’re going to have to do. What we have to do is to take a look at our structural deficit, how are we paying for government? What are we getting for it? And how do we make the system more efficient?"
"And eventually sacrifice from everyone?" I asked.
"Everybody’s going to have give. Everybody’s going to have to have some skin the game," Obama said.
The problem, of course, is that the best case has millionaires "sacrificing" being able to buy a bigger airplane while the average retiree has to sacrifice eating protein. This "game" we've all got our skin in has some much more serious consequences for some of us than others: since certain of the wealthy players just crashed the financial system a whole lot of soon-to-be seniors lost their nest eggs in both the real estate and stock markets (and are being priced out of the health care market just when they need the coverage the most.) If there's a worse time to require these particular people to sacrifice more I don't know what it is.
It's also true that often the people for whom "sacrifice" is nothing more than a minor inconvenience are prone to lecture those for whom is is quite painful. It's irritating.