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View Diary: Why does Boehner want to kick the can? (88 comments)

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  •  President has already signaled . . . (1+ / 0-)
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    that he is willing to negotiate on Medicare, Social Security and high end tax increases.  The sense that I get from reading between the lines is that if he can get more revenue on high income earners, he might be willing to make some deals on the middle-class retiree benefits.

    He has said that the taxes on upper income earners need to go up, but that can take different forms beyond the expiration of the Bush tax cut.  I know some Dems campaigned on an increase above $500K and/or a millionaires taxes.  Medicare there's been some talk about increasing the age eligibility, and limiting benefits based on income.  Social Security there's the talk of changing the inflation formula, so that payouts are less generous in future years.

    Dems in Congress have put down brighter red lines -- especially with respect to changes to Medicare and Social Security.  No idea how this plays out.  I don't think Boehner has a ton of leverage with his caucus, but business lobbies will probably have some impact.  

    •  i wasn't clear, my fault (1+ / 0-)
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      the president will never give them what they want. the president (and allied dems in congress) will never give up entitlements. rightfully, they will insist on tax increases and defense cuts only. the repubs have no say in the matter unless they want to take the country "over the cliff"

      that aside, if we hypothetically got a grand compromise, it would involve a ton on technical work. altering entitlement outlays and tax "reform" would involve hundreds, perhaps thousands of man hours by really smart people getting all the details straight. i can't see how its physically possible to get it all done before congress breaks for the year. there is only so much work that can be done by so many people.

    •  Chris Van Hollen (1+ / 0-)
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      said this evening no benefit cuts to medicare or social security but reforms to strengthen it.

      O has said he will look at everything which he has to say and should do but he continues to say that he will not sign anything that extends bush tax cuts for the upper 2%, in fact he was very emphatic about that in his presser yesterday.

      mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

      by wewantthetruth on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 09:36:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Open question what Van Hollen means . . . (1+ / 0-)
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        clearly no benefit cuts for current beneficiaries, but I'll be curious to see what is in the offing for future years.  The reality is that there are ways of making Medicare more sustainable without slashing benefits, but the GOP has shown no interest in pursuing these options (e.g. more aggressive price negotiation in Medicare Part D could save tens of billions of dollars).  

        One thing that I haven't heard mentioned is the impact on immigration reform on the health of the social safety net programs.  If you have more people working on the books and paying into social security and Medicare -- effectively legalizing millions of younger workers too -- would have the effect of balancing out some of the demographic trends where the population is getting older.  I'm not sure how much of an impact this would have on the health of these programs, but this is a potential benefit of immigration reform.  The big problem is that the GOP doesn't really show much interest in constructive solutions.  Not sure how the Dems will navigate these issues.  They have some leverage now.  We'll see.

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