Debt commission's leaders propose cuts to retirement programs

The chairmen of President Barack Obama's bipartisan commission on cutting the national debt have outlined a plan that recommends cutting Social Security benefits, raising the retirement age and eliminating preferential tax treatment for retirement programs and insurance products. None of the proposals would take effect until 2012, and they would cut almost $4 trillion from estimated deficits through 2020 and stabilize the debt, say the commission's chairmen, Alan Simpson, Republican former Senate leader, and Erskine Bowles, White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton.

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