Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Sunday he was encouraged that President Barack Obama will include some entitlement reforms in his budget proposal, which is expected this week. Though Obama does not go far enough, it demonstrates a willingness to compromise on a "grand bargain," Graham said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
The grand bargain would lower deficit spending two ways: first, it would reduce the long term growth of government by reforming entitlement spending; and second, it would increase government revenue without increasing tax rates by reforming the tax code.
Obama's budget proposal will include a reform to Social Security that will lower the growth rate of benefits to what is called "chained CPI," and include reforms to Medicare that will cut payments to service providers, according to White House sources. more >>
Several recent polls show President Barack Obama's approval rating going down, especially in his handling of the economy. The dip could be related to the many false warnings Obama and other administration officials made about the sequester.
Fifty percent of registered voters say they approve of the job Obama is doing, according to a March 7-10 Washington Post-ABC News poll, a five percentage point drop from the same poll in January.
When asked, "who do you trust to do a better job handling the economy – Obama or the Republicans in Congress?" the results are within the plus or minus 3.5 percentage points margin of error. Forty-four percent chose Obama and 40 percent chose the Republicans in Congress. And, when asked who do you trust to find the right balance between cutting government spending that is not needed and continuing government spending that is needed, respondents were again about evenly split. Forty-three percent said Obama and 44 percent said Republicans in Congress. more >>
President Barack Obama said the national debt, now at nearly $16.7 trillion with over $123 trillion in unfunded liabilities, is not a crisis and he will not propose to balance the budget, in an interview for ABC News.
"We don't have an immediate crisis in terms of debt. In fact, for the next 10 years, it's gonna be in a sustainable place," Obama told George Stephanopoulos in a taped interview that will air Wednesday night on ABC's "Nightline."
Obama's budget is already a month and a half late. The president is supposed to send a budget proposal to Congress by the first Monday in February, but the White House says it will not be available until April 8. more >>
With little indication that political leaders are willing to reach a compromise on government spending and taxation priorities, the Friday sequester deadline will be followed by (at least) four more budget crises created by Washington politicians.
The sequester was a set of reductions in the growth of government spending that went into effect on Friday as part of the Budget Control Act (2011). The cuts in spending growth were designed to be so painful that they would force even a deeply divided Congress and president to agree to a long term deficit reduction plan. But, they were not painful enough to encourage political leaders to engage in one of the most fundamental aspects of Democratic governance: compromise.
The failure of the sequester to enforce an adherence to Democratic norms of policymaking on the nation's political leaders bodes ill for what lies ahead. In the coming months, Congress and President Barack Obama will need to fund the government for the rest of the current fiscal year, pass funding for the next fiscal year, pass a federal budget and increase the debt limit. more >>
Messages from politicians about the sequester have been sprinkled along a broad continuum from disastrous to barely consequential to a modest dose of necessary austerity. Here are some examples.
Those who take the doomsday view of the sequester, a set of automatic cuts ($1.2 trillion over 10 years) to the growth in government spending that began going into effect on Friday, include mostly Democrats. more >>
Rep. Maxine Waters of California was roundly mocked and even became a trending topic on Twitter on Thursday after a video of her claiming erroneously that the automatic budget sequester, which becomes effective tonight, will cost America 170 million jobs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, America currently has fewer than 135 million working people.
Reporting information that allegedly came from the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, Congresswoman Waters warned ominously of the catastrophic number of job losses that would hit America once the budget sequester becomes law. more >>