Skip to comments.Dick Durbin: Fiscal cliff now, entitlements later
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 Senates 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 isnt a driver of the nations 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 theyve insisted that Democrats have to give on entitlements if they expect Republican support for revenue increases.
Its a point that GOP lawmakers reiterated as they returned from the Thanksgiving recess. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said Monday that its 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, hell get a budget agreement from Republicans. I dont know how many Republicans need to say it.
In his speech, Durbin offers other red lines he wont cross. They include any effort to repeal or gut Obamas 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. Todays tax code has six tax rates ranging from 10 to 35 percent. If lawmakers dont 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.
Durbins speech adds to the progressive fiscal cliff prescription that Sen. Chuck Schumer, the chambers 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 hasnt yet scheduled another negotiating session. Still, hell hold several events this week to ratchet up pressure on Congress to cut a deal.
Hes 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 cliffs 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 hes optimistic that a solution will come together before the end of the year.
The election didnt 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.
Okay, Dickie. Fiscal cliff now. Tax increases later.
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!
The check's in the mail and I won't ....
Pubbies believe it and sign on.
ESAD Dick Turban.
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.
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 Politicians 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.
"Same old Democrat/Liberal/Progressive storylinewell 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)
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.
Correction: Line 5: disciple corrected to discipline.
Sure. We believe you DICK. By the way, how many budgets have you asswipe Demon rats passed the last three years?
Sure. We believe you DICK. By the way, how many budgets have you asswipe Demon rats passed the last three years?
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.
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.
translation: “fiscal cliff - as it is now - now; entitlements never, unless what you mean are more tax increases”
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.
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.
This works for me.
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.
They will never ever ever cut spending
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.
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