TPM's Brian Beutler profiles each of the 18 members of the deficit commission, and finds it a bit stacked to the right.
Comprised of nine tax-averse Republicans and nine Democrats, many of whom have expressed support for Social Security changes in the past, the commission will almost certainly be biased toward benefit cuts, and away from raising taxes, when it presents its report on December 1.
Ezra actually does some quantifying of the political leanings of this group.
Here are the legislators serving on the president's deficit commission: For the Democrats, Kent Conrad, Max Baucus, and Dick Durbin are representing the Senate, and Xavier Becerra, Jan Schakowsky, and John Spratt are representing the House. For the Republicans, Mitch McConnell sent over Judd Gregg, Tom Coburn, and Mike Crapo, while John Boehner deputized Paul Ryan, Jeb Hensarling, and Dave Camp.... Something you may notice: The Republicans are much more conservative than the Democrats are liberal....
The Senate Democrats on the commission equal out to position 35 -- that is to say, there are more than 30 Democrats who are more liberal than the deficit commission team, which means the deficit commission team is a bit more conservative than the average Senate Democrat. Not so for the Republicans. They average out to position 94. That is to say, there are only a handful of Republicans more conservative than this group. So on the Senate side, the Democrats are a bit less liberal than the average Democrat and the Republicans are a lot more conservative than the average Republican.
The story on the House side is a bit more muted: The Democrats end up in position 84. The Republicans end up in position 384. That means there are more than 80 Democrats who are more liberal than the Democrats' deficit commission group, and about 50 Republicans more conservative than the Republican contingent. As Democrats control more seats than Republicans do, this means the House Republicans are only slightly more conservative than the House Democrats are liberal.
The presence of so many hard-right lawmakers--not to mention the co-chairmanship of Alan Simpson, who's long-standing opposition to Social Security is no secret--certainly doesn't help the credibility of the commission.