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There was no GOP entitlement-cutting plan
Washington Examiner ^ | 01/19/2013 | Byron York

Posted on 01/19/2013 7:56:38 PM PST by SeekAndFind

In the fights over the fiscal cliff and now the debt ceiling, many conservatives were adamant: Republicans should reach an agreement with President Obama only in exchange for serious cuts in entitlement spending. It is the entitlements — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security — that will drive future deficits, the conservatives argued, and without real cuts, the nation’s debt will spiral out of control in the not-too-distant future.

Some Republican lawmakers have been stressing that point for weeks and demanding that the president agree to “real cuts” before any deal could be struck. But what has emerged from the House GOP retreat in Williamsburg, Virginia is that Republicans did not have an entitlement-cutting proposal to present to Obama in debt-ceiling talks, had the president ever agreed to negotiate with them. The talk about big entitlement cuts, at least in connection with a debt-ceiling agreement, was mostly talk.

Now, by deciding to pass a short-term debt-limit bill, and at the same time demand that Democrats pass a budget — something Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has not allowed in nearly four years — Republicans have sidestepped the entitlement issue altogether, at least for a while. That might have been the GOP’s only option, since it had not agreed on an entitlement-cutting proposal.

House Republicans placed themselves on the side of entitlement reform when they voted for the Ryan budget. But the Ryan budget was a far-reaching, intricately interconnected plan that addressed not only entitlement spending but taxes and revenues and more. It was not a proposal that Republicans could just throw at the president and say, Here, this is our position. As for the actions on entitlements that might have been part of GOP demands for a debt-ceiling deal, says one participant in the Williamsburg meeting: “Long term, those have to be figured out. But my sense of that is that it is not going to happen in ten days. This is complex, important.” In other words, there was no plan for major entitlement cuts as part of the debt-limit strategy.

Rather than come up with their own plan for extensive entitlement cuts, Republicans considered focusing on some smaller proposals that Obama has spoken of favorably in the past and has now abandoned. If the debate had reached a discussion of entitlements, it’s likely the GOP would have latched onto those and pushed for the president to live by his own words.

None of this means Republicans didn’t discuss among themselves some possible options for cutting entitlements. “There were a lot of discussions about cuts and what to cut,” says another Republican who has been involved in the process. “Fifty-five and above was discussed. What could we get and where were discussed.” But discussing does not mean agreeing on a plan. And the bottom line is that if President Obama had had an incredible change of mind and said to Republicans, “OK, you’re right. I will negotiate. And we need to cut entitlements. What’s your plan?” the GOP would have had little to offer beyond what Obama himself has already said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: entitlements; gop; medicare; partisanmediashills; socialsecurity

1 posted on 01/19/2013 7:56:52 PM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

No doubt. The GOP is absolutely full of sh!t. No one respects them and they do not deserve any respect.


2 posted on 01/19/2013 8:10:13 PM PST by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: SeekAndFind
RE :”Some Republican lawmakers have been stressing that point for weeks and demanding that the president agree to “real cuts” before any deal could be struck. But what has emerged from the House GOP retreat in Williamsburg, Virginia is that Republicans did not have an entitlement-cutting proposal to present to Obama in debt-ceiling talks, had the president ever agreed to negotiate with them. The talk about big entitlement cuts, at least in connection with a debt-ceiling agreement, was mostly talk. “

This one is easy. Cutting medicare and SS are politically toxic. Hell, Rs demonized O-care medicare cuts to help win 2010. They never plan more than a month ahead.

I could see what they (House + Senate Rs) were up to with this talk, they are begging O to give them cover for unpopular entitlement reform by signing on to it, but his lib base would freak if he did,

This is why its obvious Rs would lose in a confrontation on this.

3 posted on 01/19/2013 8:12:04 PM PST by sickoflibs (Losing to O is NO principle!)
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To: SeekAndFind

There are a million other things that could be cut but these are the most politically sensitive issues and were never going to see meaningful cuts. Even talking about it at this point is bread and circuses.

Fortunately FReepers are happy to pay $100 million for an aquarium in Brazil, $125 million endowment for the arts, and a thousand other such minor things. Drops in the bucket to be sure but there are enough of them to fill a supertanker.

If they aren’t cutting the little less politically sensitive things, they aren’t going to cut the big ones. After all, the people rioting over section 8 housing couldn’t care less if we cut the endowment for the arts.


4 posted on 01/19/2013 8:13:16 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Which confirms what we already suspected: the gop has zero intention of making any meaningful reductions in spending.


5 posted on 01/19/2013 8:14:22 PM PST by RKBA Democrat
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To: sickoflibs

Huge sums could be cut from thousands of other less politically sensitive things.

Obviously entitlements do need major reform but cuts elsewhere might help get some breathing room.


6 posted on 01/19/2013 8:15:37 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: chris37

“No one respects them and they do not deserve any respect.”

Unfortunately about half of voters, including yours truly, dragged their butts to the polls and voted for this failed political party in November on the hopes that they might do something slightly better than the ‘rats. It’s painfully obvious that being even slightly better than the ‘rats is setting the bar way too high for the gop.

The gop is worse than worthless.


7 posted on 01/19/2013 8:21:39 PM PST by RKBA Democrat
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To: cripplecreek

“Obviously entitlements do need major reform but cuts elsewhere might help get some breathing room.”

And the gop can’t even muster the will to do that.


8 posted on 01/19/2013 8:23:32 PM PST by RKBA Democrat
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To: RKBA Democrat
And the gop can’t even muster the will to do that.

Why should they, GOP voters are demanding entitlement reform and ignoring everything else. For that matter I doubt most conservatives have a clue what their congressman does unless it gets a headline.
9 posted on 01/19/2013 8:27:51 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: RKBA Democrat

Yeah, RKBA, I did too. I did it for McCain too, but I’ve really had it.

I am just not going to saddle myself with oh we have to do whatever we can do get republicans in because...there is no because.

I can at least respect the democrats for being a damn formidable enemy who knows what they want and will do anything it takes to get it. I cannot respect the GOP at all. In fact I spit on them and I’d very much like to pee on all their shoes while they are standing in them. I bet that they would not even have the stones to tell me to stop.

I do not know what the solution to America’s problems is, but I do know that the solution is not the GOP.


10 posted on 01/19/2013 8:33:14 PM PST by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: cripplecreek

“Why should they, GOP voters are demanding entitlement reform and ignoring everything else.”

Those gop voters are becoming a rarer and rarer breed. At a certain point even the most strident gop stalwart wonders if they’re being played for a sucker and finds something else to do with their time.


11 posted on 01/19/2013 8:34:07 PM PST by RKBA Democrat
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To: cripplecreek; SeekAndFind
RE :”Huge sums could be cut from thousands of other less politically sensitive things.”

Remember the House GOP swore off ‘earmarks’ ?

So instead they sent letters to the departments run by Obama picks begging for money for their districts for wasteful projects. but its the thought that counts.

Congress is not designed to cut current spending.

The business roundtable wants both tax cuts and lots of spending (no cuts) now, but to raise the SS/MC ages to 70, something impossible to pass through congress for obvious reasons.

12 posted on 01/19/2013 8:43:14 PM PST by sickoflibs (Losing to O is NO principle!)
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To: SeekAndFind

We must get actual cuts.

The GOP is useless. If Obama’s not careful, his effort to crush Republicans will pave the way for a real opposition with principles and guts.


13 posted on 01/19/2013 8:50:02 PM PST by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: cripplecreek
If they aren’t cutting the little less politically sensitive things, they aren’t going to cut the big ones.

Exactly right!

If the feds are going to waste any extra money we give them, why would I agree to reduce my SS or Medicare? Effectively, you waste it on them via x, y, and z, so you can waste some more on me via SS and Medicare. If you stop wasting money on x, y, and z, then we can have a discussion on reducing debt by changing SS and Medicare.

14 posted on 01/19/2013 8:51:01 PM PST by sefarkas (Why vote Democrat Lite?)
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To: chris37

“I do not know what the solution to America’s problems is, but I do know that the solution is not the GOP.”

Expecting the gop to somehow fix America is like expecting smoking to somehow fix lung cancer.

I’m through with it. I just don’t see the point in wasting more time with electoral politics. It’s time that would be better spent working in the garden, or picking my nose for that matter.


15 posted on 01/19/2013 8:54:39 PM PST by RKBA Democrat
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks SeekAndFind.


16 posted on 01/19/2013 8:56:27 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: RKBA Democrat

"Expecting the gop to somehow fix America is like expecting smoking to somehow fix lung cancer."

That is an exceptional analogy, I must say.

I’m through with it. I just don’t see the point in wasting more time with electoral politics. It’s time that would be better spent working in the garden, or picking my nose for that matter.

Agree completely. I may go out of my way to try and elect republicans to state government, especially if Charlie Crist, Whore, tries to run against Rick Scott, Inconsequential, but I'm not donating any money.

And at least gardening is good exercise and can result in lovely flowers and roses or even food, and nose picking results in booger-free airflow, which to me is a prize worth far more than all republicans combined :D

17 posted on 01/19/2013 9:11:46 PM PST by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: SeekAndFind

<> It is the entitlements — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security — that will drive future deficits<>

Not true, Byron.

How much of the 16 Trillion dollar debt is Social Security???

Answer — 0.

How much of the 16 Trillion dollar debt is owed to the Social Security Trust Fund???

Answer: several Trillion dollars.

It’s the only program still in the black despite politicians stealing from it year after year and dumping every social program on earth into it rather than the regular budget.

Perhaps its time that those social programs should be charged to the Federal Employee Retirement Fund.


18 posted on 01/19/2013 9:41:44 PM PST by Uncle Chip
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To: sickoflibs

What happened to the report on duplicitous gov’t? How many BILLIONS+ of $$ would that have saved?

Nope, the GOP can’t even fight about that! They enjoy the power of being in the minority, they offer no real solutions aside from being less than the other side (and not by much).


19 posted on 01/19/2013 10:02:16 PM PST by i_robot73
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To: cripplecreek

The GOP members know when to vote NO on things because of how we feel back here.

Pork barreled “hurricane relief”, tax increases, the debt ceiling hike and so on get passed with some GOP support while most members vote NO with a tough sounding statement accompanying their vote.

But those NO votes almost all of them support Boehner as their leader, that gives away the phony game our elected GOP congressman play.

The NO congressmen need to kick out YES congressmen and Boehner from their caucus but don’t hold your breath.

The GOP is run by Rovish moderate business as usual politicians who have over 90 percent of the people we elect under their thumb.

But get angry about Obama and terrorists, Obama and guns, Harry Reid, labor union bosses etc. etc. while the GOP keeps this county on course to disaster with ever increasing spending and debt.

There can be no compromise on taxes, spending and debt, but there have been cave ins and more are to come.


20 posted on 01/19/2013 10:23:49 PM PST by Nextrush (PRESIDENT SARAH PALIN IS MY DREAM)
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To: cripplecreek

I don’t beleive for a minute that if they cut socialist security they would not move the money saved to the even bigger sinkhole known as socialized health care.

There is no way this government is ever going to get serious about not wasting money and going into debt to do it. They broke out of the limits of the constitution and the sky is the limit. What goes up, must come down.

Let it crash. Then start over with constitutional limits on federal activity for a change. The government is a monster and cutting one unconstitutional activity will just lead to more spending on another unconstitutional thing.


21 posted on 01/19/2013 10:26:58 PM PST by SaraJohnson
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To: SeekAndFind

During the past four years, we have spent approximately six trillion dollars more than we have taken in. That deficit spending has not been for social security or medicare. While those programs do pose a future problem, we have a more immediate concern that needs to be addressed first. If we don’t deal with our our of control non social security spending, fixing social security will not save us.

It is as if our house is on fire and also has an infestation of termites. Does it do any good to bring in an exterminator if we don’t put out the fire first.


22 posted on 01/19/2013 10:28:56 PM PST by etcb
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To: SeekAndFind

Let’s see them put their money where their mouth is: cut salaries and staff for all elected officials. And eliminate tax-supported pensions for the same.

It would save a mere pittance compared to other wastefull government programs, but it would show that they *meant* it when they talked reform.


23 posted on 01/19/2013 11:41:11 PM PST by VietVet (I am old enough to know who I am and what I believe, and I 'm not inclined to apologize for any of)
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To: SeekAndFind

Ae you ready for Speaker Pelosi Part 2 yet? Boehner and his gang of Whigs have guaranteed it for 2014. 2010 was a directive from the people to cut spending. NOT ONE CENT HAS BEEN CUT. So, why bother having this gang of Do-nthng, spineless cowards run the House?

Boehner should have been ousted when he made his ridiculous “we only control 1/6th of the government” comment. Whigs are totally incapable of running anything except their mouths.

I would ask that everyone refer to the former Republicans as Whigs and get behind the formation of a national TEA Party. I propose three plain ideas as core beliefs:
1. Adherance to the Constitution in all things;
2. Massive reduction, reorganization and responsive government; and
3. Rededication to our Judeo-Christian principles.


24 posted on 01/20/2013 2:09:25 AM PST by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners)
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To: SeekAndFind
According to the Weekly Standard, the GOP secretly agreed last year to gut the military.

Conservatives have been betrayed.

As Bob Woodward recounted in his book on the debt-ceiling negotiations of 2011, The Price of Politics, Krone traveled with Reid to the White House that summer during the intense debate over extending the debt limit. In the Oval Office, Reid began explaining the outline of a $2.7 trillion debt limit extension before turning it over to Krone to explain the details. Reid’s plan included another round of defense cuts that John Boehner and Mitch McConnell had “secretly pledged to honor.”

Shame on the GOP. There is to be NO entitlement reform, and the sequestration cuts (where the military is 18% of the budget yet takes 50% of the cuts) still loom.

25 posted on 01/20/2013 4:05:16 AM PST by SkyPilot
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To: SkyPilot

American were played by Obama and the GOP.

Soros and other nonAmericans
(Romney’s and Obama’s partners)
now control what is left of the USA.

America is a bankrupt nation where the Law
only depends on skin color, religion and connections.


26 posted on 01/20/2013 4:22:35 AM PST by Diogenesis (Vi veri veniversum vivus vici)
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To: SeekAndFind; All

Of the three things mentioned...only Medicaid is a true entitlement....the others are really “pay into” programs....and that will be political suicide for any politican to cut SSec and Medicare

When Reagan and the GOP made an honest push to address these issues....the backlash was severe...even from Reagan supporters. Note that there were fewer on SS and HCare back then compared to now

The best way to curtail SS and MCare spending is to allow some private seperate investments for those not yet collecting....and no Illegal Alien Amnesty

Anyone supporting Illegal Alien Amnesty...in any form....is just asking for the SS and MCare system to be greatly expanded. No one supporting Illegal Alien Amnesty can claim they are for less government spending


27 posted on 01/20/2013 5:11:52 AM PST by SeminoleCounty (The only automatic weapon is the one Obama uses to take your paycheck)
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To: SaraJohnson

That’s the Washington way.

My congressman sought a $50 million cut in funding for the national endowment for the arts. By the time it made it through committee and all the amendments were voted on it was only a $20 million cut and the annual increases were raised so they’ll end up getting even more money than the current $125 million per year.

The real problem isn’t enough money for government but too much.


28 posted on 01/20/2013 5:11:57 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: SeminoleCounty

Amnesty is nothing but government growth hormone.

30 million illegals is enough to create some 50 odd congressional districts (mostly democrat) and all the expenses incurred as well as all spending voted on.


29 posted on 01/20/2013 5:15:15 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Diogenesis

“America is a bankrupt nation where the Law
only depends on skin color, religion and connections.”

Sounds like the South after Reconstruction. The post Civil War economy was bankrupt, whites suppressed blacks with Jim Crow laws, one party ruled while a very few wealthy landowners and factory owners suppressed poor whites. Company stores were a vehicle for shackling workers with debt they could never repay so they could not leave the mill. The few Jews in southern towns who were not extremely wealthy were shunned and despised by the dominant Christians. The Klan ran free, persecuting blacks and whites who showed sympathy for blacks. The local sheriff served as the enforcer for the few wealth aristocrats. Anyone bucking the system could expect punishment rendered outside the due process of law.

Come to think of it, the situation wasn’t much different in the North. Union bosses and political machines dominated the cities. There was no real political opposition at the local level. Average citizens, including women and children, worked long hours in factories, enduring oppressive working conditions for wages that barely put food on the table and paid the rent for a tiny squalid tenement apartment. Catholics and Jews were despised for their religious beliefs by the dominant Protestant Christians. The national government persecuted native Americans the West while the railroads brought in cheap Chinese labor. Wealth financiers and industrials owned Congress and the President.

One might argue most citizens today have more freedom, and better lives, in the USA than average citizens in the last quarter of the 19th century and first quarter of the 20th century.


30 posted on 01/20/2013 5:24:12 AM PST by Soul of the South
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To: Diogenesis
Americans were played by Obama and the GOP.

I used to have faith that at some Republicans would fight for what is right.

What have we seen?

The GOP politicians in New York agreed with Comrade Cuomo and passed his fascist "gun control" agenda in the middle of the night.

The Republican party has abandoned the United States military and is now playing second fiddle to the Democrats as to who can bankrupt the country the fastest by spooning out "checks" to the lazy, the illegals, and the self declared entitled.

I have prayed to God for this nation and her leaders. My only hope is that God has mercy on America, because it does not seem like we have very much time left.

31 posted on 01/20/2013 9:17:07 AM PST by SkyPilot
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