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Budget Talks Open: Sequestration Likely to Go, Entitlement Reform Faces Uphill Climb

Ryan: "If this conference becomes an argument about taxes, we’re not going to get anywhere. The way to raise revenue is to grow the economy.”

by
Bill Straub

Bio

October 31, 2013 - 4:51 pm
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Murray said she is prepared to make concessions to get a deal “but compromise runs both ways.” Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), ranking member on the House Budget Committee, noted that resolving differences will prove impossible without “difficult compromises.”

“We cannot start these talks by taking things off the table, and we can’t be serious about reducing the deficit and then refuse to close a single tax break to help reduce that deficit,” he said. “It is hard to make progress when some people think compromise is a dirty word.”

But convincing the GOP to adopt tax and revenue measures to go along with spending cuts to reduce the deficit and debt may prove to be a bridge too far. Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) noted that the nation has gone $17 trillion in debt yet more than 16 percent of Americans — including 20 percent of all children — still live in poverty. Nearly 50 million live on $23,000 per year or less.

“Washington spends more and more and more, and yet our problems are getting worse and worse and worse,” Price said, and “taking more out of the pockets of hard-working Americans just to satiate Washington won’t solve anything.”

“At this point, a bailout for politicians – in the form of more taxes – so they can continue to spend well beyond our means is a recipe for more fiscal and economic pain,” Price said.

Committee Republicans, Price said, want to address Social Security and Medicare because they “will not have the resources needed to survive if they’re not strengthened.”

“We want to repair America’s ‘safety net,’ so that we may protect the most vulnerable among us in a fair and caring manner,” Price said. “We want to strengthen our national defense, so that the greatest nation the world has ever known can remain strong, independent and free. And we want to help grow the economy, so that the millions upon millions of our fellow Americans who are unemployed or underemployed can get back to work to support their families and realize their dreams.”

Warner agreed that the panel will have to consider entitlement reform because costs “are going to be greater than we’ve seen in the past because life expectancy now exceeds 80.”

“So we all know what we’re going to have to deal with — Democrats are going to have to deal with entitlement reforms and Republicans are going to have to deal with revenues, and we ought to be willing to at least approach those areas,” Warner said.

Murray said the lesson that lawmakers should have learned from the recent shutdown is that “the only way we can avoid gridlock and crisis — and the only way either side can get what they want — is through compromise and bipartisanship. That’s what the American people are expecting from this conference.”

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Washington freelancer Bill Straub is former White House correspondent for Scripps Howard News Service.

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Top Rated Comments   
Let's reduce the budget to the level it was when Clinton left office.

Good enough for Clinton, good enough for today's Democrats, right?

Seriously, we could halve the Federal budget, fire countless do-nothing employees and 99% of us would not only feel no ill effects, we would feel a benefit.

And to those who would be fired by the government? TFB... Join the rest of us in our Obamadepression.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (18)
All Comments   (18)
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45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
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46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
my best friend's aunt makes $77 hourly on the internet. She has been without work for eight months but last month her check was $15175 just working on the internet for a few hours. ....>>>>>>>> http://xurl.es/28ydl
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
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46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is all a charade! This is the eng-game strategy public employee unions use to avoid an employer seeking concessions. In collective bargaining the only way an Employer can make a unilateral change is after achieving a valid state of impasse. Once impasse is achieved, the union can strike and the employer can lock the unionized employees out, impose terms, and under some circumstances hire replacement workers. Unless the union really believes that it can win a strike, and few do, they try very hard to avoid reaching impasse. In the public sector they try to keep dancing away from impasse until the next election in which they try to buy a new management.

In the budget "negotiations," there really aren't any rules, which makes it a more uncertain process than collective bargaining but it is the same dynamic. The Republicans in the House know that the Democrats in the Senate will never agree to a formal budget with any cuts to current spending levels. The Democrats in the Senate know that the Republicans won't agree to any formal budget that doesn't include at least the appearance of actual budget cuts. The reality is that is a state of impasse and futher bargaining is futile, so we're at endgame.

The WH, as Alinskyites are prone to do, overplayed their hand with the sequester move because they thought they could force the Republicans to back down, but they didn't - yet. Now the Democrats want the sequestered funds restored. So, while maintaining the charade of budget negotiations right up to the brink, when expiration of the current CR is imminent, as in desperately close, the Senate will pass a CR that restores the sequestration cuts and, once again, the House will either have to give the cuts back or face a government shut down. There's some Constitutional questions about such a CR originating in the Senate but as someone famous once said, "what does it matter now?"
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
"And Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) countered that it would be unthinkable to reduce spending on the backs of the poor and elderly who need entitlement assistance"

Couple of issues:

A devout Socialist is now speaking on behalf of the DNC?

Point of order is due...

Most people on welfare are not just fat, they are morbidly obese (try 80% on for size) and unemployable in virtually any capacity. That is even they had any skills, which they dont.

To sum it up, Mr. Sanders, we have run out of other peoples money. A long time ago. When you owe the chinese a trillion who just today released to the public today their nuclear attack plans to destroy the USA, tell us again just how great communism is?

Not in China mind you, but in the demcratic party here in the good old USA.


46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Democrats on the panel hinted that they are willing to consider harsh spending cuts that replace sequestration"

Oh, you seductive devils. You know we fall for that every time. It's so much better than dinner and a movie.

"more than 16 percent of Americans — including 20 percent of all children — still live in poverty. Nearly 50 million live on $23,000 per year or less."

In the US these figures do NOT include government assistance, unlike every other nation on Earth. So, this grinding poverty will never go away no matter how much we spend- and the more we spend the less the 'poor' need to earn so they get ever poorer ... perfect.

"the only way we can avoid gridlock and crisis — and the only way either side can get what they want — is through compromise and bipartisanship"

Which means the Democrat way or the highway- see every previous 'gridlock and crisis', real or imagined.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama won't give an inch. Will the Republicans finally grow a backbone? Don't bet on it.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
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