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Dick Durbin: Fiscal cliff now, entitlements later
Politico ^ | November 27, 2012 | Steven Sloan

Posted on 11/27/2012 7:51:47 AM PST by Qbert

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin has a message for Republicans insisting on wholesale changes to entitlement programs in exchange for new tax revenue: not yet.

In a speech later this morning that seeks to crystalize the progressive approach to deficit reduction, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat will try to split the debate about overhauling Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid from the negotiations over resolving the fiscal cliff.

“Progressives should be willing to talk about ways to ensure the long-term viability of Medicare and Medicaid but those conversations should not be part of a plan to avert the fiscal cliff,” Durbin says, according to excerpts provided by his office.

The Illinois Democrat reiterates the view of many in his party that Social Security isn’t a driver of the nation’s deficit. And he insisted that current beneficiaries be protected from changes to any program.

“Small changes in the short-term will pay dividends in the long-term as long as current beneficiaries are protected,” he says. “Meaningful reforms can protect the vulnerable and improve care and efficiency, leaving the programs stronger for future generations.”

The tough talk on entitlements is sure to rile GOP lawmakers. Since the Nov. 6 election, Republican leaders have showcased their openness to raising revenue by eliminating or capping deductions and credits in the tax code. But they’ve insisted that Democrats have to give on entitlements if they expect Republican support for revenue increases.

It’s a point that GOP lawmakers reiterated as they returned from the Thanksgiving recess. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said Monday that it’s up to President Barack Obama to make a move on entitlements to garner GOP votes for a swift fiscal cliff deal.

“All he needs to do is show that he can propose a reasonable way to control entitlement spending,” Alexander said. “If he does that, he’ll get a budget agreement from Republicans. I don’t know how many Republicans need to say it.”

In his speech, Durbin offers other red lines he won’t cross. They include any effort to “repeal or gut” Obama’s health care law, privatizing Social Security, transforming Medicare into a so-called voucher plan or providing Medicaid block grants to states.

Durbin says any changes to the tax system must make it more — not less — progressive. Today’s tax code has six tax rates ranging from 10 to 35 percent. If lawmakers don’t resolve the fiscal cliff by Dec. 31, the top rate will climb to 39.6 percent and the bottom rate will rise to 15 percent.

Beyond those changes, a fiscal cliff impasse will mean that the alternative minimum tax will hit millions of additional families, the scope of the estate tax will expand, jobless benefits will lapse and physicians who see Medicaid patients will be reimbursed by the government at lower rates.

Durbin’s speech adds to the progressive fiscal cliff prescription that Sen. Chuck Schumer, the chamber’s No. 3 Democrat, outlined in October. In a speech to the National Press Club, the New York Democrat said Congress should use the lame-duck session to raise rates on top earners, end some deductions and tap the revenue that would result to pay down the deficit.

Schumer also rejected looking to the 1986 tax code overhaul as a framework for a new deficit deal. House Speaker John Boehner has pointed to that law — the last major rewrite of the tax system — as the way forward on tax policy.

Obama last met with congressional leaders on Nov. 16, and he hasn’t yet scheduled another negotiating session. Still, he’ll hold several events this week to ratchet up pressure on Congress to cut a deal.

He’s scheduled to meet with 15 small business owners Tuesday, then meet with business leaders on Wednesday. The show will go on the road Friday when Obama heads to Hatfield, Pa., to speak at a manufacturing facility owned by The Rodon Group, a construction toy company whose products include Angry Birds building sets. The event is designed to highlight the fiscal cliff’s impact on the holiday shopping season.

Though Democrats and Republicans remain far apart on a prescription for the fiscal cliff, Durbin — an alum of the Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction panel — says he’s “optimistic” that a solution will come together before the end of the year.

“The election didn’t give either party a mandate,” Durbin says. “What voters gave both parties is a work order. They told us to work together to solve this problem fairly and wisely.”


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: dickdurbin; durbin; entitlements; fiscalcliff; taxhikes
Hostage taking.
1 posted on 11/27/2012 7:51:55 AM PST by Qbert
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To: Qbert

Okay, Dickie. Fiscal cliff now. Tax increases later.

Your move.


2 posted on 11/27/2012 7:53:47 AM PST by Boogieman
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To: Qbert

3 posted on 11/27/2012 7:55:06 AM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: Qbert

Same old Democrat/Liberal/Progressive storyline—”we’ll reduce spending later”. Of course, “later” never comes.

Pray for our country and wisdom (don’t be suckered once again folks) for the Republicans in Congress. We continue to sink deeper and deeper into the abyss!


4 posted on 11/27/2012 7:56:52 AM PST by House Atreides
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To: House Atreides
"“All he needs to do is show that he can propose a reasonable way to control entitlement spending,” Alexander said. “If he does that, he’ll get a budget agreement from Republicans. I don’t know how many Republicans need to say it.”"


The check's in the mail and I won't ....

Pubbies believe it and sign on.

5 posted on 11/27/2012 7:58:39 AM PST by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: Qbert

ESAD Dick Turban.


6 posted on 11/27/2012 8:01:18 AM PST by jospehm20
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To: Qbert

Got to hand it to the Rats, their old “tax and spend” has evolved very effectively into “spend and tax”. Now they spend and spend and spend and then take the nation to the brink of ruin to force the taxation.

They build up the Rat-voting parasite class first and then attack the achievers with class envy.


7 posted on 11/27/2012 8:02:35 AM PST by Proud2BeRight
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To: Qbert; All

The ‘Iron Triangle’ of RINOs -Democrats-Liberal Agenda Media has been very powerful in the USA.

The problem for the ‘Iron Triangle’ is that they have run out of OUR money.

Undaunted, they are now borrowing 40 cents on every dollar spent to keep up the false impression that they are worthy of our continued loyal support.

One idea that the Liberal Agenda Media Elite, or LAME, will never mention is the fundamental difference between government and Business.

In Business, the main concern is profitability, and the imposition of a rigorous profit and loss discipline on all aspects of that business.

In the Federal Government, profit and loss are rarely considered, and when considered, usually ignored.

In government, the Federal Politician’s main concerns center around using their definition of ‘Bi-Partisan Compromise’ to achieve their primary goal of being re-elected.

A “Bi-Partisan Compromise” to a Democrat means NEVER give up any move to the Left concession agreed to by the Right, and if possible do not do what the Democrats promised to do in the Compromise.

For nearly 80 years now, the Democrats have demanded two steps to the Left, “Compromised” by agreeing to taking one step to the Right, which then gave them a net one step to the Left EVERY TIME that a ‘Bi-Partisan Compromise’ was made.

Thus, the US Federal Government has steadily moved always to the Left and with few exceptions almost always with a substantial financial loss.

The supporters of the RINOs have usually been very grateful to their Heros, the RINOs, for not allowing the Democrats to get all that they had at first demanded.

Thus, the RINOs get re-elected for doing a ‘good’ job, and the RINOs have job security for life.

Hence, we Conservatives must convince the RINO supporters to at least question their blind support of their Republicans In Name Only.

Without the RINOs, the ‘Iron Triangle’ will become the ‘Iron Bar’ of the Democrats and LAME, a much easier entity to defeat.


8 posted on 11/27/2012 8:04:45 AM PST by Graewoulf ((Traitor John Roberts' Obama"care" violates Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND the U.S. Constitution.))
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To: House Atreides

"Same old Democrat/Liberal/Progressive storyline—”we’ll reduce spending later”. Of course, “later” never comes."

What the Republicans should do is agree to tax increases on the wealthy now in return for a promise to tackle entitlements at some nebulous time in the future. That way when Jeb Bush (the "only guy who can win...") is running against the next novelty act Dem candidate, the Dems can run 2 Billion worth of ads against him in swing states about how he wants to cut entitlements... (/sarc)

9 posted on 11/27/2012 8:05:04 AM PST by Qbert ("The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry" - William F. Buckley, Jr.)
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To: Qbert
Entitlement reform NEVER - is what he means.

We have to shift the discussion away from taxes to spending. Tax increases on the rich is a lousy 8% of the annual deficit - it's all about spending.

Let's go off the cliff. They won, now we can all suffer. Maybe after paying federal taxes for a while, people will start to understand that government isn't free.

Dysfunctional works for me. Balance of power is to PROTECT the minority; not succumb to the majority.

10 posted on 11/27/2012 8:12:08 AM PST by dan on the right
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To: Graewoulf

Correction: Line 5: “disciple” corrected to “discipline.”


11 posted on 11/27/2012 8:13:30 AM PST by Graewoulf ((Traitor John Roberts' Obama"care" violates Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND the U.S. Constitution.))
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To: Qbert

Sure. We believe you DICK. By the way, how many budgets have you asswipe Demon rats passed the last three years?


12 posted on 11/27/2012 8:14:51 AM PST by SoFloFreeper
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To: Qbert

Sure. We believe you DICK. By the way, how many budgets have you asswipe Demon rats passed the last three years?


13 posted on 11/27/2012 8:15:42 AM PST by SoFloFreeper
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To: Qbert
Durbin says any changes to the tax system must make it more — not less — progressive.

That is what all of this is about, moving the ball toward their goal, marxism.
Cliff or surrender, either way they are going to take us there.

14 posted on 11/27/2012 8:16:27 AM PST by oldbrowser (Welcome to U.S.Zimbabwe)
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To: oldbrowser

I say give them most of what they want. Tax increases on those making a million or more.......they voted for Obama anyway and kick the can on entitlements. Most traders will see that as the worst possible outcome. Rates will go up stocks down. GDP will lower. If the voters and the dems are unwilling to face reality then only the markets will be able to grind it in their face. The people have smoked the hopium and the repubs are unable to sober them up. Grinding this economy to a halt will.


15 posted on 11/27/2012 8:33:29 AM PST by Blackirish
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To: Qbert

translation: “fiscal cliff - as it is now - now; entitlements never, unless what you mean are more tax increases”


16 posted on 11/27/2012 8:35:54 AM PST by Wuli
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To: Qbert

FUDD


17 posted on 11/27/2012 8:39:18 AM PST by goodnesswins (R.I.P. Doherty, Smith, Stevens, Woods.)
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To: Qbert
No asshat... your word and the word of your party and president cannot be trusted. You are a liar and of satan.

LLS

18 posted on 11/27/2012 8:49:20 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (WOLVERINES!)
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To: Qbert
The Revenue Act of 1964 (from Wikipedia)

History and effects

President John F. Kennedy brought up the issue of tax reduction in his 1963 State of the Union address. His initial plan called for a $13.5 billion tax cut through a reduction of the top income tax rate from 91% to 65%, reduction of the bottom rate from 20% to 14%, and a reduction in the corporate tax rate from 52% to 47%. The first attempt at passing the tax cuts was rejected by Congress in 1963.

Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, and was succeeded by Lyndon Johnson. Johnson was able to achieve Kennedy's goal of a tax cut in exchange for promising a budget not to exceed $100 billion in 1965. The Revenue Act of 1964 emerged from Congress and was signed by Johnson on February 26, 1964.

The stated goal of the tax cuts were to raise personal incomes, increase consumption, and increase capital investments. Evidence shows that these goals were met to some degree by the tax cut. Unemployment fell from 5.2% in 1964 to 4.5% in 1965, and fell to 3.8% in 1966. Initial estimates predicted a loss of revenue as a result of the tax cuts, however, tax revenue increased in 1964 and 1965.

19 posted on 11/27/2012 9:00:55 AM PST by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: Blackirish
The people have smoked the hopium and the repubs are unable to sober them up.

That is the plan we followed for the last four years and the voters were bought off with Obama phones.

I say let them go off the fiscal cliff, and then refuse to raise the national debt limit. Make them hit the wall and sober up while we still have a partial constitution and the national debt is salvageable.

This will rush us to the fork in the road where we have to decide if we will be the USA or Zimbabwe. If we wait much longer we will not have the wherewithal to save ourselves.

20 posted on 11/27/2012 9:02:28 AM PST by oldbrowser (Welcome to U.S.Zimbabwe)
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To: oldbrowser
I say let them go off the fiscal cliff, and then refuse to raise the national debt limit

This works for me.

21 posted on 11/27/2012 9:17:48 AM PST by Digger
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To: Qbert

The Dems want tax hikes now, no spending cuts ever. Then when things go to hell they will say we need to raise taxes again, the rich are still not paying their fair share.

The dems are invincibly ignorant. I don’t think anything can stop them. They cannot reason normally. We are dealing with lunatics and they are going to pull us all under when the ship goes down. But hey by then we will all be equally poor so the Dems will die happy.


22 posted on 11/27/2012 10:31:35 AM PST by Hound of the Baskervilles ("Nonsense in the intellect draws evil after it." C.S. Lewiscrate)
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To: Qbert

They will never ever ever cut spending


23 posted on 11/27/2012 11:15:00 AM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: Blackirish

Sen. Durbin can run for re-election in 2014. I live near Chicago, and I know a conservative Republican who told me that he’ll run, in that race. The candidate is Chad Koppie, a member of the Kane Co. Regional Board of Schools. In the 1998 IL GOP governor primary, Chad was the only conservative candidate. He’s pro-tax cuts, pro-spending cuts, pro-life, pro-gun rights, and anti-illegal alien. Please read his blog, chadkoppiescampaign.blogspot.com.


24 posted on 11/28/2012 6:13:44 PM PST by PhilCollins
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