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Will Republicans Bargain Away Entitlement Reform in the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
Reason.com ^ | Nov. 27, 2012 | Peter Suderman

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 year’s debt deal, a reduction in planned spending on defense as a result the sequestration process, the so-called “doc fix” which governs physician’s Medicare reimbursements. All of these policies are set to change automatically if Congress does nothing.

What won’t change automatically is the fundamental shape and structure of any of the country’s major entitlements: Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Yet Republicans are hoping to negotiate changes to those programs as part of a fiscal cliff deal.

That’s a good thing, at least in theory, because entitlements—Medicare and Medicaid in particular—are 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: They’ll accept hikes in tax revenue in exchange for cuts or changes to entitlements. But the problem is that Republicans don’t seem clear about what they’re bargaining for. And the hints that they’ve 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 haven’t said what, exactly, that might mean.

That’s a familiar dodge. Republican leaders supposedly seeking entitlement reform have spent the last few years saying they’re for it, in vague terms, without giving any real hints about what they might mean.

[Snip]

It often seems as if Republicans are for the idea of entitlement reform—but not for any specific plan to accomplish it.

(Excerpt) Read more at reason.com ...


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: entitlementreform; entitlements; fiscalcliff; taxhikes

1 posted on 11/28/2012 8:10:49 AM PST by Qbert
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To: Qbert

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”.


2 posted on 11/28/2012 8:12:04 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Qbert

You betcha!


3 posted on 11/28/2012 8:12:06 AM PST by beaversmom
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To: Qbert

If they don’t get ANYTHING in return then it’s not a compromise, it’s a capitulation.


4 posted on 11/28/2012 8:13:51 AM PST by DManA
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To: Qbert

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


5 posted on 11/28/2012 8:15:22 AM PST by molson209
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To: Qbert
What does the GOP leadership have in common with the French Army?


6 posted on 11/28/2012 8:17:17 AM PST by andy58-in-nh (Cogito, ergo armatum sum.)
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To: DManA
"If they don’t get ANYTHING in return then it’s not a compromise, it’s a capitulation."

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.

7 posted on 11/28/2012 8:18:42 AM PST by Truth29
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To: Qbert
But the problem is that Republicans don’t seem clear about what they’re bargaining for.

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.

8 posted on 11/28/2012 8:19:38 AM PST by ScottinVA (I've never been more disgusted with American voters.)
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To: Qbert

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.


9 posted on 11/28/2012 8:27:35 AM PST by DaBearOne (she is always with us)
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To: Truth29
DMA, your post hit the nail right on the head.

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..

10 posted on 11/28/2012 8:31:07 AM PST by Fedupwithit (You gave him what he wanted. I gave him what he needed.)
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To: beaversmom
You betcha!

I like easy questions, don't you?

11 posted on 11/28/2012 8:31:39 AM PST by 17th Miss Regt
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To: Qbert; ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas; DoughtyOne; Gilbo_3; Impy; stephenjohnbanker; NFHale; ...
RE :”What won’t change automatically is the fundamental shape and structure of any of the country’s major entitlements: Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Yet Republicans are hoping to negotiate changes to those programs as part of a fiscal cliff deal.
That’s a good thing, at least in theory, because entitlements—Medicare and Medicaid in particular—are 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: They’ll accept hikes in tax revenue in exchange for cuts or changes to entitlements. But the problem is that Republicans don’t seem clear about what they’re bargaining for. And the hints that they’ve 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 haven’t said what, exactly, that might mean.
That’s a familiar dodge. Republican leaders supposedly seeking entitlement reform have spent the last few years saying they’re for it, in vague terms, without giving any real hints about what they might mean. “

..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??

12 posted on 11/28/2012 8:35:52 AM PST by sickoflibs (Has Bohner caved to Obama again yet?)
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To: ScottinVA

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.


13 posted on 11/28/2012 8:37:56 AM PST by Blackirish
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To: Qbert

Hell we can’t even cut funding for piddly crap like bike trails so I think the idea of entitlement reform is pure fantasy.


14 posted on 11/28/2012 8:39:55 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Qbert
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.

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.

15 posted on 11/28/2012 8:42:33 AM PST by traditional1 (Don't gotsta worry 'bout no mo'gage, don't gotsta worry 'bout no gas; Obama gonna take care o' me!)
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To: Truth29

"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?...

16 posted on 11/28/2012 8:43:02 AM PST by Qbert ("The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry" - William F. Buckley, Jr.)
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To: andy58-in-nh

The GOP would give up their mamas before growing a backbone.


17 posted on 11/28/2012 8:44:23 AM PST by bgill (We've passed the point of no return. Welcome to Al Amerika.)
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To: Qbert

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.


18 posted on 11/28/2012 8:52:14 AM PST by Soul of the South
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To: traditional1

"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.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/rep-tom-price-informs-msnbc-host-obamas-proposed-tax-hike-would-cover-just-eight-days-of-govt-spending/

19 posted on 11/28/2012 8:55:55 AM PST by Qbert ("The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry" - William F. Buckley, Jr.)
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To: Qbert

The Republicans can pull an Obama and just vote “present”. Then, they can say they didn’t vote for the increase or against it.


20 posted on 11/28/2012 8:59:10 AM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Soul of the South; All

” 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.”

Obama will agree to cuts, and then spend twice as much as last time. Just watch.


21 posted on 11/28/2012 9:00:41 AM PST by stephenjohnbanker
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To: cripplecreek

Watch what happens when Democrat refusal to cut spending and entitlements results in Republicans avoiiding sequestration budget cuts by agreeing to tax increases in exchange for the promise of illusory future budget cuts.. Obama and the Democrats will then be pointing fingers and screaming that the tax increases are Bush’s fault.


22 posted on 11/28/2012 9:00:45 AM PST by WhiskeyX
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To: Qbert
GOPBUDGETKIT
23 posted on 11/28/2012 9:02:58 AM PST by FrankR (They will become our ultimate masters the day we surrender the 2nd Amendment.)
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To: Qbert

Count on it!


24 posted on 11/28/2012 9:03:57 AM PST by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: sickoflibs; Qbert; ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas; DoughtyOne; Gilbo_3; Impy; stephenjohnbanker; ...

” 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?? “

Apparently never.


25 posted on 11/28/2012 9:05:51 AM PST by stephenjohnbanker
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To: Qbert
Will Republicans Bargain Away Entitlement Reform in the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
26 posted on 11/28/2012 9:07:51 AM PST by Colonel_Flagg ("Don't be afraid to see what you see." -- Ronald Reagan)
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To: Qbert
Will Republicans Bargain Away Entitlement Reform in the Fiscal Cliff Deal?

You mean there's a doubt?

27 posted on 11/28/2012 9:08:21 AM PST by Colonel_Flagg ("Don't be afraid to see what you see." -- Ronald Reagan)
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To: Colonel_Flagg

Ha! Right on the money


28 posted on 11/28/2012 9:09:00 AM PST by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: Qbert

Does a bear...


29 posted on 11/28/2012 9:12:54 AM PST by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: Soul of the South

"The Democrats understand history as do the Republicans. If the Republicans give in on taxes, they should not expect spending cuts....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.

I think as a practical matter- and psychological matter, as well- it's always best to tackle one's greatest fears. It may sound kind of general, but I think if Republicans confronted this possibility in advance- instead of perpetually ducking it, they could come up with sound arguments to convince the public.

And the real question is (especially in the short-term) why is skyrocketing spending actually harmful for the average voter? Reagan was able to make that case in plain terms that almost everybody could understand when they were sitting around the dinner table. I rarely hear Republicans talking about this these days (and talking it about it everyday for the low-information people).

30 posted on 11/28/2012 9:15:21 AM PST by Qbert ("The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry" - William F. Buckley, Jr.)
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To: Qbert

IF past history is any indication... the answer is yes.

They will probably further negotiate for an even weaker military.

And will gladly sign on to more freebies for the freeloaders.


31 posted on 11/28/2012 9:15:50 AM PST by TheBattman (Isn't the lesser evil... still evil?)
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To: Qbert

I thought that the deal is done. The super committee failed to come to agreement last year and the consequence will take place Jan 1st/2013. End of story. This pain is only the beginning anyway. We’re going to have to shrink before we can expand. This is as much about morality as it is about money. Overdue.


32 posted on 11/28/2012 9:24:43 AM PST by sanjuanbob
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To: Qbert

Count on the GOP to cave like you count on the sun to come up.


33 posted on 11/28/2012 9:30:13 AM PST by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Truth29
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.

You are so correct. This corrupt "Two-Party Cartel" is a sham. All here know the outcome. That's why I'm done with the also sham fraud voting exercise. How about this - The Hildabeast & Jeb Bush as your choice in 4 yrs. It will be if that's what the elites want.

34 posted on 11/28/2012 9:35:00 AM PST by Digger
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To: Qbert

They’re still talking tough - time will tell...


35 posted on 11/28/2012 9:41:08 AM PST by trebb (Allies no longer trust us. Enemies no longer fear us.)
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Support Free Republic
FReepathon Day 59.

36 posted on 11/28/2012 9:41:41 AM PST by RedMDer (Please support Toys for Tots this CHRISTmas season.)
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To: Qbert
Will the Republicans stand firm? Firm as butter on a hot day.

Prediction: There issue will be dealt with by passing IMMEDIATE or even retroactive tax INCREASES and there will be promises of future spending cuts. The tax increases will be real and the spending cuts will never materialize. The Republicans will claim that they held tough on spending cuts (which of course they didn't, because they know better than any of us that here will NEVER be any cuts) and pass the arrogant ignorant narcissist's tax increases. Then they'll bleat "but they promisted to cut spending." The whole thing will be a cynical exercise in screwing the productive members of society by both parties.

37 posted on 11/28/2012 9:56:02 AM PST by from occupied ga (Your government is your most dangerous enemy)
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To: Qbert
Will Republicans Bargain Away Entitlement Reform in the Fiscal Cliff Deal?

Absolutely. That's what Republicans do. Democrats are the party of Principle= Marxist principle which negate all other principles- but they stay true to their Marxism. Republicans are compromisers and not terribly bright. Some individual Republicans adhere to principles until they become inconvenient. Republicans crave acceptance by the social elite which tends to be Marxist.

38 posted on 11/28/2012 10:30:24 AM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINE www.fee.org/library/books/economics-in-one-lesson)
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To: Blackirish
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.

Yep. Don't protect them with half-measures anymore.. let them experience the entirety of their stated wishes. They wanted socialism... they GOT it. And everything that comes with it!

39 posted on 11/28/2012 11:51:50 AM PST by ScottinVA (I've never been more disgusted with American voters.)
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To: Qbert
Will Republicans Bargain Away Entitlement Reform in the Fiscal Cliff Deal?

Does a wet noodle have more backbone than Boehner or McConnell?

40 posted on 11/28/2012 11:59:09 AM PST by The Sons of Liberty ( Fast and Furious , Benghazi - What's 0bama's current body count?)
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