Just as little kids like to believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, Washington insiders like to believe that the Bowles Simpson commission issued a report. Of course the commission did not issue a report.

The commission's by-laws state that a report would need the support of 14 of the 18 members of the commission. There was no report that met threshold and in fact no formal vote was ever taken on any report. The document in question should properly be referred to as the report of the co-chairs, former Senator Alan Simpson and Morgan Stanley director Erskine Bowles.

It might be painful to accept the truth, but there is no Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy or Bowles-Simpson Commission report.