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Are you sitting down? You'll want to be for this astonishing news from D.C.
Republican and Democratic congressional leaders are weighing whether to delay automatic federal spending cuts until March 2013, according to a House aide and industry officials who were briefed on the discussions. [...]

Leaders in both chambers are discussing whether to propose a catch-all bill that would delay the automatic cuts, fund the government through March or later and temporarily extend the George W. Bush-era tax cuts and other tax laws, said the House aide and industry officials, who asked to speak on condition of anonymity.

“It is being seriously considered as one of the options and there is no doubt about that,” Steve Bell, the senior director of the Economic Policy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said in an interview.

Gee, Congress kicking the legislative can down the road? Who'd have thunk it?

Actually, this could be a better scenario than some that have been in the works, namely a lame-duck session in which the deficit peacocks run wild with Simpson-Bowles, giving away the entitlements store in order to get Republicans to, maybe, get rid of the tax loophole for corporate jets. That's being pushed now by Erskine Bowles and a new and improved Alan Simpson in the form of retired Sen. Judd Gregg. (Simpson apparently had become far too much of a liability with his crazy old coot act, so he's finally been replaced with a smarmier model.) Bowles and Gregg have been meeting with a bipartisan bunch of senators in hopes of "reinvigorating" B-S.

So, yes, postponing the whole mess until after the elections, when decisions won't be made by a bunch of guys with one foot out the door already, but by duly reelected representatives, might be preferable. That, though, depends on the outcome of this election. If it were a House of Representatives led by Nancy Pelosi, a still-Democratic senate, and President Obama in the White House, it would be a far better thing. If not, well, we're all screwed anyway.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 09:49 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (27+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 09:49:16 AM PDT

  •  we live (7+ / 0-)

    in serious times, but are governed by un-serious men and women.  Very dangerous combo.

    Bad is never good until worse happens

    by dark daze on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 09:52:39 AM PDT

  •  Fuck. No. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arealniceguy, eXtina, rabel

    Pardon my language, but fuck, no.

    These people were hired to do a job. They decided it was too hard and built a machine on a timer to do their job. Time's up.

    Fair's fair. I don't vote in your church; don't go preaching in my government New video: "Plans"

    by Crashing Vor on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 09:55:38 AM PDT

  •  Basically they want to allow GOP to take hostage (6+ / 0-)

    the cuts in the next debt ceiling stand-off so the Dems can cave almost wholly again and say "We had no choice, the GOP were going to crash the world economy if we didn't give in completely".

  •  They should punt it forever (8+ / 0-)

    There's no deficit crisis- it's all manufactured.  This incremental punting is effective fodder for the necessary progressive argument that there's no actual deficit crisis, and to the limited extent that there is, it's nothing that sensible taxation of corporations and the wealthy but sensible cuts to defense can't solve.

    Romney '12: Bully for America!

    by Rich in PA on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 10:07:49 AM PDT

  •  re: "We're all screwed anyway." Um, yes. (4+ / 0-)

    Because unless we can take Congress back, do something about the Senate, and then actually have a STIMULATIVE economic policy, we're looking at 4 more years of Hooverism.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 10:14:01 AM PDT

  •  Hooverism--- THAT SUCKS! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck, elwior

    Sorry for the carpet cleaning pun. But you are right we have to take congress back or hold our noses at the stench.

    Constitutions should consist only of general provisions; the reason is that they must necessarily be permanent, and that they cannot calculate for the possible change of things. Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) Just A Real Nice Guy, thinking out loud.

    by arealniceguy on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 11:12:49 AM PDT

  •  Today's GzeroP; the party of procrastination. n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Force it down their blubbery throats. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, rabel

    I hope the president jams those cuts down their fat gullets.  They clamored for this bullshit like a bunch of braying jackasses and now when it's election time they want to delay it because they damn well know it's political cyanide.

    They killed the Gracchi, they killed the Kennedys. I dare you to tell me they aren't a threat.

    by Fauxton on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 03:22:53 PM PDT

    •  Veto. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The bill under consideration would be a wonderful, wonderful veto.  I can hear the shrieking already.

      Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

      by Boundegar on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 07:21:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As much as I would like to see that,... (0+ / 0-)

        they'd use that to say that Obama shutdown the government in October when the fiscal year ends. Not that it would float, but I expect it anyway. Nah, if they want to shutdown the government in October, let's make sure that the fault is clearly the republicans.

        I don't think the catch all bill will make it past the House Republicans. The teabaggers can not be corralled by anyone and most definitely not John Boehner.

      •  I recall Obama said he would veto (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        splintersawry, Boundegar

        any measure that delays the implementation of this agreement.

        That would be a refreshing change and shock the hell out of Republicans and 1%'rs.

        --Mr. President, you have to earn my vote every day. Not take it for granted. --

        by chipoliwog on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 05:41:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  GOP Fear (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dancing Frog

    That is the only reason the GOP wants to punt.  They fear the tea baggers will put the economy back into recession if they let them manufacture another debt crisis.

  •  Let the Bush tax cuts die on schedule - or else (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The added tax revenue will go a long way to reducing the deficit/GDP ratio by the time the new bozos can find their offices without a map. And don't even think about letting them fuck around with the debt ceiling. Give them the rope they ask for on that one.

    "He not busy being born is busy dying." R. Zimmerman

    by RUKind on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 07:25:53 PM PDT

  •  Yup, what a shock (0+ / 0-)

    The can that was kicked down the road ten times before is gonna get kicked down the road again.

    So, please, this time will the DKOS  Catfood Commission Concern Collective finally stop with the ...

    Breaking: the Catfood Commission is really, really gonna get implemented sometime really, really soon!  You can really, really count on it.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 07:26:37 PM PDT

  •  our political class is as worthless as (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    tits on a boar hog.   They make Nero seem like Chicken Little.  Never have so many been given so much in exchange for doing so little.

    Mostly, they just disgust me.

    Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 07:29:40 PM PDT

  •  Better? Yes. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Far better?

    With Nancy recently extolling the virtues of Simpson/Bowles, "far" is a bit of a stretch.

    Yeah, she managed to get the House to pass progressive bills, knowing full well they'd be blocked in the Senate. Why anyone on this site still thinks of her as anything other than a card carrying 1%er is beyond me.

  •  Not Satisfied with 15% Approval? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They want to go for 10%?

    This is just Congress's way of admitting that it is too stupid to run the country.

  •  Calvinball (0+ / 0-)

    Making the rules up as they go. Disgusting.

  •  Those automatic budget cuts (0+ / 0-)

    ...have to be kicked down the road, there's nothing else to be done with them.  They simply cannot be implemented because implementing them would involve all sorts of illegality.

    Everyone agrees that "20% across the board cuts" would be painful to implement.  The pain factor was intentional, it was a crucial design feature in that both sides had to give a hostage, create something really painful that would happen should there be no budget agreement on time'

    My point is that beyond the pain factor of making the cuts, there is this further hostage feature to them, that they can't actually be made legally.  "20% across the board cuts" is a phrase you can say, but not a reality you can make happen without new law specifying exactly what legal spending obligations Congress created previously are now no longer legal obligations.

    And this hostage feature, unlike the cuts themselves, is strongly asymmetrical.  The president, especially if that president is still Obama, would have the onus of making the cuts happen if they are triggered.  He can't do that, even if he wanted to, so he or she would be under more pressure to make sure they are never triggered.  Obama especially, because he was a party to the deal, could not do the one thing that would need to be done should the cuts be triggered -- simply refuse to implement them on the grounds that they are illegal.  Why did he sign off on an illegal deal?

    There are plenty of reasons to be disappointed in Obama's presidency.  But arguably the most foolish and least forced error he made was signing off on that "20% across the board automatic budget cuts" deal.  Declining to implement the debt ceiling on the grounds that it couldn't be implemented legally would not have been easy, but it would have been infinitely easier than declining to implement a budget cut deal he himself agreed to.

    We should have destroyed the presidency before Obama took office. Too late now.

    by gtomkins on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 08:30:38 AM PDT

  •  Won't happen. Will be vetoed per Obama... (0+ / 0-)
    Obama threatened to veto any bill Congress sends him that seeks to void the automatic defense cuts or an equal amount of domestic spending cuts.

    "There will be no easy off-ramps on this one," Obama said, adding "we need to keep the pressure up" to find a compromise on a broader debt-reduction plan.

    The "only way" the deep automatic cuts will be avoided, the president said, if is "Congress gets back to work."

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