Obama Team Again Tries to Revive the Grand Bargain
The so called “grand bargain” is never going to truly be defeated as long as Barack Obama is president, because for whatever reason, it is a top personal goal of his. Like the monster in a profitable Hollywood horror franchise it is only stopped temporarily until the administration sees a way to revive it.
According to the National Journal, the administration is talking with Senate Republicans about resurrecting the idea during the upcoming debt ceiling fights set to take place in a few months. From the National Journal:
At least a dozen Republican senators are regularly meeting with President Obama’s top aides in an attempt to plot a way forward on the looming fiscal challenges facing leaders this fall, senators involved in the meetings tell National Journal.
The meetings, which began after Obama hosted GOP senators for dinner earlier this year, are the first sign that Democrats and Republicans are in talks to strike a deal that would reduce the deficit and reform entitlements and taxes.
“Everybody’s trying to assess whether we can accomplish something that would be big,” said Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, who has attended the meetings. “Big is reforming entitlements and it’s impossible to see a path where you get additional revenue without tax reform being part of it.”
The fact that projected entitlement spending has improved dramatically on its own, thanks to an overall slowdown in health care spending, seems to have almost never factor into this push for a grand bargain. When this whole debate started we were told we “needed” to cut Medicare benefits to reduce spending by $300 billion, yet even though Medicare spending has dropped by an even greater amount, the push to cut benefits continues.
Image by Bonnie Natko under Creative Commons license