The focus in Washington has now shifted to the fiscal cliff, with the White House and Congress, particularly the House Republicans, staking out negotiating positions on the expiring Bush tax cuts and the looming budget sequester.
The Great Debate
Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said in a Wednesday conference call to donors that President Barack Obama won re-election because he promised “big gifts” to voters, “especially the African-American community, the Hispanic community and young people.” Romney singled out healthcare reform as a “huge” gift to these voting blocs and the working poor.
The election left us with a status quo political lineup, one that failed to make any meaningful fiscal progress over the past two years. So is it realistic to expect that we can avoid the fiscal cliff and achieve some sort of “grand bargain”? Yes, it is possible, and here is how to do it:
from Rolfe Winkler:
The rising costs of Medicare and Medicaid threaten to destroy the nation's fiscal future, but President Obama is pushing for healthcare reform that would increase costs. Instead, he should refocus his presidency on paying down debt.
At first glance this week's budget projections paint President Obama as a spendthrift. The White House itself offered a grim glimpse of a future in which U.S. debt more than doubles to $17.5 trillion in a decade -- an increase of nearly $10 trillion.