Skip to comments.Will Republicans Bargain Away Entitlement Reform in the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
Posted on 11/28/2012 8:10:41 AM PST by Qbert
There are a large number of policies that make up the fiscal cliff: the expiration of the Bush-era income tax cuts, the end of a temporary payroll tax cut, budgetary caps on discretionary spending imposed by last years debt deal, a reduction in planned spending on defense as a result the sequestration process, the so-called doc fix which governs physicians Medicare reimbursements. All of these policies are set to change automatically if Congress does nothing.
What wont change automatically is the fundamental shape and structure of any of the countrys major entitlements: Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Yet Republicans are hoping to negotiate changes to those programs as part of a fiscal cliff deal.
Thats a good thing, at least in theory, because entitlementsMedicare and Medicaid in particularare the biggest drivers of the long term debt. And the sooner that Congress starts looking for ways to restrain them, the better.
Republicans have indicated that they might be willing to bargain: Theyll accept hikes in tax revenue in exchange for cuts or changes to entitlements. But the problem is that Republicans dont seem clear about what theyre bargaining for. And the hints that theyve been dropping about what sort of reforms they might accept in a trade suggest that they might be willing to give on taxes in exchange for not much in return.
Republicans have said they want structural reforms to Medicare, but havent said what, exactly, that might mean.
Thats a familiar dodge. Republican leaders supposedly seeking entitlement reform have spent the last few years saying theyre for it, in vague terms, without giving any real hints about what they might mean.
It often seems as if Republicans are for the idea of entitlement reformbut not for any specific plan to accomplish it.
(Excerpt) Read more at reason.com ...
The whole election was about “free stuff”,
so there’s no way the ‘rats are going to allow them to reduce the amount of “free stuff”.
If they don’t get ANYTHING in return then it’s not a compromise, it’s a capitulation.
The GOP can give away everything or sit tight and do nothing ,with every option in between . Does not matter ,everything will fall on their heads no matter what they do . Obama and the Dems are not even talking to them ,LOL Obama is out campaigning
I wonder if all this is kabuki theater? The GOP establishment leadership goes through elaboration motions, with histrionics, then compromise by mostly agreeing with the Democrats and passing more big government revenue enhancers with meaningless words toward cost cutting. When it is over, they all go to a cocktail party and toast their mutual success.
Is that sad-sack gaggle of geldings EVER clear about what it thinks it's bargaining for? The GOPers are the Chicago Cubs of politics. At the end of the day you just KNOW they'll be on the losing end.
The answer is plain. Repubs stand down to all the demoncrats. Don’t waste any effort talking to them. As good little commies wrapped in that phony muslim flag. They will soon sink each other. Old saying: “man sit by the river bank long enough, the bodies of his enemys float by.” By their own doing not us.
At the end of the day, these 'democrats' and 'republicans' go through their motions in Congress, and at the end of the day they all retire to their McMansions on the Beltway, drink at all the same watering holes, eat at all the same restaurants, and shop at all the same stores.
What we are getting from Washington right now is not leadership...it's orchestrated theatre..
...and we, the public, are the overworked stage hands..
I like easy questions, don't you?
..and they wont say what they mean to us until O signs on to their plan and gives them cover for it. But some have said it's to increase the age you get it which is not going to go over well with voters.
Even this author says SS+medicare are ‘long term drivers of national debt’ as Durbin did but he wont admit that both are adding to the national debt RIGHT now because the worthless trust fun is just gov IOUs to itself.
When will any reporter, even FNC, ask a member of congress or WH exactly where the current entitlement funding comes from, meaning where does the US Treasury get it to give to the trust funds??
I say give the dems what they want. May be hold out for $500,000.00 And up. Hell they voted for Obama anyway take their money. Don’t do anything about entitlements. Let the dems own this. The US has smoked the hopium and with a compliant media there is nothing the repubs can do to sober them up. There’s a force that can tho....the markets. The last thing traders want to see is tax increases with no reforms. Rates will go up. Equities down and a lower GDP. Let Obama and the dems keep marching forward through that. They may learn the axiom be careful what you wish for.
Hell we can’t even cut funding for piddly crap like bike trails so I think the idea of entitlement reform is pure fantasy.
We are over-leveraged forever, and the well is running dry.
Prepare for riots in the streets when the Welfare Checks/EBT's/Union giveaways come to a screeching halt.
"I wonder if all this is kabuki theater? The GOP establishment leadership goes through elaboration motions, with histrionics, then compromise by mostly agreeing with the Democrats and passing more big government revenue enhancers with meaningless words toward cost cutting. When it is over, they all go to a cocktail party and toast their mutual success."
Yep- I don't doubt at al, that it's kabuki. The problem is though, that those "good old days" will soon be over for the GOP in many states. The entitlement state will eventually suffocate them- there will come a time when they simply won't be able to compete with all the goodies the Dems can offer.
This is their best opportunity to address this- and if not now, when?...
The GOP would give up their mamas before growing a backbone.
Remember 1990. George H.W. Bush agreed to higher marginal tax rates, violating his election pledge “no new taxes.” The Congressional Democrats agreed to spending cuts. The tax rates went into force. The spending cuts did not occur. The economy went into recession. Bill Clinton then beat up Bush on the economy in 1992 to win reelection.
In 1982 Ronald Reagan agreed to increase some excise taxes. In return House Speaker O’Neill agreed to deliver $3 in spending decreases for every dollar of taxes raised. The taxes went into effect and the spending cuts never materialized.
The Democrats understand history as do the Republicans. If the Republicans give in on taxes, they should not expect spending cuts. Therefore they have the choice, stand tall, let the country go over the cliff and be blamed. Alternatively, they can agree to tax increases which will not be matched by spending cuts. Then, the economy will slow and within six month Obama will be demanding new spending programs to deal with the economy. If the Republicans refuse to sign onto the spending increases they will be portrayed as heartless and cruel.
From Obama’s perspective this is a “heads I win, tails you lose” proposition.
"No increase in Taxation on "The Rich" is going to come even remotely close to paying for all the Handouts the Dem Congress and the Reid-Run Senate, AND the Regulatory agencies/HHS/DHS have put in place."
Indeed. In fact, Obama's tax hike proposal would cover only... eight days of government spending.
The Republicans can pull an Obama and just vote “present”. Then, they can say they didn’t vote for the increase or against it.