The raising of the debt ceiling has been solidly tied to an exchange for spending cuts. The Republicans, in particular Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have come out strongly and unequivocally against any type of tax increase whether it be closure of a tax loophole or actual increase. As they say in Washington, (or atl least as Repubicans say it) they're off the table. The debate is over how much to cut in spending.
The White House, now recruited into this fight, has come out rather strongly in challenging the Republicans to bend in their willingness to cut some of their sacred cows.
President Obama challenged Republicans on Monday to take on some of their "sacred cows" as budget talks aimed at preventing an unprecedented government default focused on tax increases and Medicare reductions.The talks are aimed at Medicare reductions? When did that happen?
For their part, Obama and Reid appear prepared to reach much higher, putting substantial Medicare savings on the table if Republicans would accept added revenues. With the House GOP leadership in New York, all of Monday’s White House maneuvering was Senate-centric. But Obama’s hope is that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), with whom he met privately last week, will be intrigued by a bolder package that might also help neutralize the Medicare issue now hurting the GOP among elderly voters.(Honestly I don't know why Harry Reid is even in there other than to nod his head yes. His focus is inexplicably about how the spending cut cum revenue/tax increase debate is supposed to be focused on job creation. HUH?)
But, I've been following this debate fairly closely, and this appears to be the first time that Medicare cuts in exchange for 'revenue increases' appear to be the negotiating chip. I don't know where Politico got this information and what 'Obama and Reid appear prepared' is based on, but is this the end game? Is this why Kyl and Cantor threw up their hands and walked out, giving this to Obama and the Senate? And where is Nancy Pelosi in this who yesterday demanded to be included in these negotiations?
Is this the final cave? There was a bit of a kerfuffle yesterday about the Bush Era Tax Cuts being off the table (even though they never were on), but when did Medicare get put on this table?