President Obama’s budget speech described his plans for $4 trillion dollars in debt reduction over the next 12 years, adding $2 trillion dollars to the most recently available version of his budget. He also attacked Representative Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, saying that the Republicans, who plan to reduce the deficit through spending cuts without raising taxes in the US, are misguided in their belief that raising health care costs will balance the funding losses made by the cuts.
BY ALANA YOUNG
ANCHOR JIM FLINK
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Vice-President Joe Biden led a round of bipartisan budget talks in Washington Monday with leading Republicans.
If Congress does not increase the debt limit by May 16, the Treasury says it will take measures into its own hands to keep servicing Americas debt without default.
Biden and others say meeting went well, but Fox New’s Russell Pearlman says compromise will be difficult to achieve. The ideological differences are just too vast.
RUSSELL PEARLMAN: “They’re serious that they want to cut the debt, but they’re not so serious that they’re willing to do it before the 2012 election. It’s somewhat unfortunate. At least the issue seems to be a legitimate point of negotiation. Which it hasn’t been essentially been for forever, since we’ve essentially had a debt. So that’s at least a good step. But, not addressing Medicare and Medicaid and social security, and any sort of tax reform when you wanna cut the deficit is kinda like deciding you want to go on a diet but you’re not going to change what you eat for lunch or dinner.”
Pressures continue to mount for leaders to find an agreement after recent backlash over house republican Paul Ryan’s budget plan. The Washington Post reports House majority leader Eric Cantor felt the heat from President Obama’s criticisms on proposed Medicare and Medicaid changes.
“On the eve of debt-reduction talks... Cantor (Va.) said Republicans remain convinced that reining in federal retirement programs is the key to stabilizing the nation’s finances over the long term. But he said Republicans recognize they may need to look elsewhere to achieve consensus after President Obama ‘excoriated us’ for a proposal to privatize Medicare.”
Not to mention, a key Republican platform---the repeal of the Affordable Care Act--isn’t going anywhere in the Senate. Michigan Rep. Dave Camp tells the Huffington Post it’s time to move on:
“Is the repeal dead? I don’t think the Senate is going to do it, so I guess, yes...I think we have to see where this [health care] lawsuit that is working its way through the courts goes. ... I'd rather have the committee working with the Senate and the president, focusing on savings and reforms that can be signed into law. I don’t think we can afford to wait. I think we needed to make progress now.”
Although Republicans may have lost on one key front -- a writer for The New York Times says the Democrats aren’t out of the line of fire just yet -- 2012 is around the corner.
“Many Democrats were cheered by the evidence of Republicans’ disarray on Medicare... But Democrats have tensions, too. Many, sensing a political opening going into the 2012 elections, suspect that President Obama and Mr. Biden, in their zeal for a deal, will compromise too much on Medicare and Social Security.”
If the limit is not raised by August 2, the country would be forced to stop borrowing altogether and default on its debt. The next scheduled meeting is set for May 10.
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May 18, 2011(2:01)
After calling GOP darling Paul Ryan a "right-wing engineer," media and politicians alike are saying Newt Gingrich's 2012 campaign is finished.
BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN
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It’s a field better defined by who’s NOT in.
When Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels announced he would not run in 2012 -- many in the chattering class declared the GOP - desperate.
CBS: “Republicans are just not enthusiastic about the crop of candidates so far.”
ABC: “I think it's indicative of a Republican field not quite knowing where to go with this.”
Only one week earlier, some in the press had declared Daniels the GOP’s “savior.”
And now -- they’re left lost. Scrambling. So says Politico’s Jonathan Martin -- who predicts...
“...low-hum grumbling among Republican insiders that they’re gearing up to face President Obama with the weakest primary field in recent memory.”
A quick recap of who’s who in the GOP’s bid to boot President Obama:
IN the running - Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, and Tim Pawlenty -- who officially announced Monday morning.
And OUT: Mike Pence, Haley Barbour, Mike Huckabee and real estate mogul Donald Trump. And now Daniels.
CBS’ John Dickerson says Republicans aren’t happy with their options so far -- pointing to a recent Associated Press poll.
“45% of republicans said they didn't like the men who were running. Well, Mitch Daniels was, a lot of Republicans thought he could improve that. He was the last hope out there of candidates who might get in the race. Now that he hasn't, it means that whoever the nominee is in the party is going to have to make a case for how they are going to get Republicans excited.”
Daniels says he opted out of running at the request of his wife and four daughters. On ABC - Senior Washington editor Rick Klein says - the problem with the GOP is no one wants in -- but he also predicts -- the field isn’t set yet.
“Look to the Fall for another star power. There's just too much angst out there in the Republican field for there not to be an increased interest and another run at one of these folks possibly running for president in 2012.”
A columnist for conservative blog Hot Air says -- don’t believe the hype -- or -- lack thereof. Daniels was never officially in the running, so...
“...which segment of the base is left looking for a home, if any? ... Call me crazy, but I really don’t think an exit by Daniels shakes up the early stages of the race all that much.”
That may be so -- but it isn’t stopping plenty of pundits from speculating who will “take his place.” On Fox News, The Wall Street Journal’s Paul Gigot plays along.
CHRIS WALLACE: “...does it open up the race for a late entry like Chris Christie or Paul Ryan or someone...”
PAUL GIGOT: “I think this is going to open it up for Chris Christie and Paul Ryan, and Paul Ryan will think hard about this and he said he wanted to pass his budget to term the debate for the 2012 election and if nobody takes up the mantle, he's going to think, well, makes I should and the third person I would say you have to think about now is Jeb Bush...”
Both Chris Christie and Paul Ryan have denied they’re running. Other Republicans said to be considering -- Minnesota Congresswoman and Tea Party favorite Michele Bachmann, former Ambassador to China John Huntsman and Texas Governor Rick Perry.
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Former president Bill Clinton and Republican Congressman Paul Ryan were unwittingly caught on camera at an event discussing Medicare cuts. Cenk Uygur breaks it down.
BY ADAM FALK
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A debate over tax increases and spending cuts is heating up. Sound familiar? As President Obama prepares to unveil a new deficit reduction plan on Monday, politicians are -- again -- sparring over the best way to reduce the deficit and create jobs.
The New York Times reported Saturday, Obama’s plan will include a new minimum tax rate for millionaires, AKA the “Buffett Tax.” Less than 24 hours later, politicians hit the TV circuit to weigh in on the expected plan. Here’s Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham. (euronews)
“Tax policy is job policy. The tax code should be reformed for one purpose -- to generate more revenue to help run the government and create jobs jobs. When you pick one area of the economy, and say we'll tax those people because most people are not those people, that's class warfare.” (CNN)
Talking point? House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan echoed the line on Fox News Sunday.
"Class warfare might make for good politics, but it makes for rotten economics.”
No word yet on how much the Buffet Rule will raise taxes. But a writer for Slate says the plan won’t get across-the-board opposition.
“But for some it will likely be a welcome bit of populism in a debt debate that has seen Republican leaders refusing to move on reducing debt by raising tax revenues. Last week, House Speaker John Boehner said that tax increases were not ‘a viable option’ for the six-person joint Congressional committee working on a plan for reducing the nation’s debt.”
The Washington Post agrees but notes the idea has little chance of getting the OK from Congress. Still, it could help shape populist message for Obama’s 2012 run and help the Pres get back some support from his own base.
“Congressional Democrats were also pleased with the proposed millionaire’s tax, calling it a welcome sign that Obama is ready to play hardball with Republicans who have taken the politically unpopular position of defending tax breaks for the wealthy.”
The Buffett Rule might be grabbing headlines, but sources are pointing out this is just one piece of Mr. Obama’s deficit-reduction plan, which as Fox News says must include poison pills for both parties to move forward.
“Any broad compromise that clears the bipartisan committee is almost certain to require Democratic agreement to savings from programs such as the Social Security pension program, along with Republican acquiescence to additional revenues, although any such trade-offs are rarely discussed openly until the last possible moment in negotiations.”
Ultimately, recommended changes will come from the congressional supercommittee set up after this summer’s debt ceiling debate. Will it be debt ceiling round two? Guess we’ll see. Their deadline -- 9 weeks and counting.
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