Senate leaders near deal on avoiding fiscal cliff
Oh really? Read between the lines here and tell me that this isn't just more can kicking and procrastination.
Senate Democrats and Republicans remain far apart on the details, and House Republicans continue to resist any discussion of tax increases. But lawmakers and aides say that a bipartisan group of senators is coalescing around an ambitious three-step process to avert a series of automatic tax increases and deep spending cuts.
First, senators would come to an agreement on a deficit reduction target - likely to be around $4 trillion over 10 years - to be reached through revenue raised by an overhaul of the tax code, savings from changes to social programs like Medicare and Social Security, and cuts to federal programs. Once the framework is approved, lawmakers would vote on expedited instructions to relevant Congressional committees to draft the details over six months to a year.
If those efforts failed, another plan would take effect, probably a close derivative of the proposal by President Obama's fiscal commission led by Erskine B. Bowles, the Clinton White House chief of staff, and former Senator Alan K. Simpson of Wyoming, a Republican. Those recommendations included changes to Social Security, broad cuts in federal programs and actions that would lower tax rates over all but eliminate or pare enough deductions and credits to yield as much as $2 trillion in additional revenue.
Finally, they would vote to put off the automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration, and tax increases scheduled to hit all at once in January - but with some deficit reduction down payment to signal how serious Congress is.
Mr. Obama has said he would not allow Congress to simply pass a new law to override the $1 trillion in automatic cuts agreed to in the Budget Control Act of 2011, but senators said they believed the White House would go along with a deal that locks in as much as four times those savings in exchange for canceling the automatic cuts.
In other words, no matter who wins, no budget cuts worth spit. Just the promise of big cuts later. Right. Keep digging in that manure pile, boys. I'm sure there's a unicorn in there somewhere.
They are only fooling themselves because they are not fooling us. Reforming the tax laws is all well and good, but everyone knows we do not have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem. Over the next 10 years, the federal government will spend close to, or more than, $40 trillion. And Congress is telling us they can't find $4 trillion in spending cuts, that they need new revenue?
This is unacceptable and House Republicans would do well to oppose it.