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Cliff Notes: The Road Not Taken



Cliff Notes: The Road Not Taken

Spending more money is the way to get out of $16 trillion in debt, right? That’s what Washington seems to think, anyway. The White House is pushing for “tens of billions of dollars” in stimulus cash as part of a budget deal to avert the fiscal cliff. And while President Obama wants a tax hike as part of a “balanced” approach to reduce the deficit, a new report shows 75 percent of new tax revenue would go toward new spending. Additionally, the Treasury Department today announced that the U.S. budget deficit reached $172 billion in November, up from $120 billion in October, a sign we’re on our way to a fifth consecutive year of a deficit exceeding $1 trillion.   It seems like Washington is headed in the wrong direction… judge for yourself.

SPENDING CUTS: “Let’s Sort Of Just Gimmick It Up” (Nadine Shubailit, “From Joe Biden to Paul Ryan, Meet the Major Players in ‘The Price of Politics,'” ABC News, 9/10/12)

  • White House Wants To Count Last Year’s Spending Cuts. “The White House wants more than $1 trillion in spending cuts that were approved last year counted toward the goal of a $4 trillion deficit-reduction package, since the cuts were part of a deal that set the stage for the fiscal cliff debate in the first place.” (Darren Samuelson, “Can last year’s cuts count towards fiscal cliff?,” POLITICO, 12/12/12)

TAXES: Public Notice Poll: Majority Of Americans Seriously Doubt Higher Taxes Will Go Towards Deficit Reduction (Tarrance Group Survey, 10/8/12)

  •  New Tax Revenue Going Towards New Spending. “Seventy-five percent of the new revenue pulled in by President Barack Obama’s ‘fiscal cliff’ plan would go toward new spending, not toward deficit reduction, the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee contends.” (Daniel Halper, “75 Percent of Obama’s Proposed Tax Hikes to Go Towards New Spending,” Weekly Standard, 12/11/12)

MORE STIMULUS? “Democrats Use Fiscal Cliff To Push For More Stimulus Money” (McKay Coppins, “Democrats Use Fiscal Cliff To Push For More Stimulus Money,” Buzzfeed, 12/12/12)

  • White House Pushes For “Tens Of Billions Of Dollars” In New Stimulus Spending In Fiscal Cliff Deal. “The Obama administration is arguing that the sluggish economy requires a shot in the arm, and it included tens of billions of dollars of little-noticed stimulus measures in its much-noticed proposal to Congressional leaders last week.” (Annie Lowrey, Republicans Balk At Short-Term Stimulus In Obama Plan,” New York Times, 12/12/12)
  • More Democrats Beginning To “Coalesce” Around More Spending. “Amid ‘fiscal cliff’ discussions that have centered largely on tax rates and spending cuts, Democrats are beginning to coalesce publicly around a proposal for more stimulus money as part of a compromise package. … As part of his initial fiscal cliff offer, President Barack Obama has proposed roughly $200 billion in stimulus measures, including an extension of the payroll tax cut, investment in infrastructure, and an extension of unemployment insurance benefits.”(McKay Coppins, “Democrats Use Fiscal Cliff To Push For More Stimulus Money,” Buzzfeed, 12/12/12)

NO ENTITLEMENT REFORM? The Washington Post: “Entitlement Reform Must Be On The Table” (Editorial, “Entitlement Reform Must Be On The Table,”The Washington Post, 11/14/12)

  • “Pelosi Demands No Increase To Medicare Age. “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) slammed the idea of raising Medicare’s eligibility age as part of a year-end deal to reduce the deficit. … Pelosi’s line in the sand is sure to please the Democratic base and AARP, both of which oppose raising the Medicare age. But it could put her at odds with President Obama, who was reportedly open to the idea last summer.”(Elise Viebeck, Pelosi: Keep the Medicare age where it is,” The Hill, 12/11/12)
  • “Liberals are intensely — and successfully — pressing the White House to take Medicaid off the table in deficit-reduction talks. … Congressional Democrats oppose almost all cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, but they’re taking an especially hard line against Medicaid cuts, including proposals President Obama has supported in the past.” (Sam Baker, “Liberals: Leave Medicaid Out Of Talks,” The Hill, 12/12/12)

NO CONGRESSOINAL CHECK ON DEBT CEILING? “In The Past, Raising The Debt Ceiling Was Routine.  … President Reagan Did It 18 Times.” (President Obama, Address to the Nation, 7/25/11)

  • Obama Wants Unilateral Authority On Debt Ceiling Increases. “Obama has asked Congress for authority to raise the debt limit without prior approval. But Republicans seem unlikely to give up that bargaining chip.” (Tom Raum, “Debt Limit Looms As Next Fiscal Cliff,” AP, 12/12/12)
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