Grand Bargains Give Way to Quick Fixes —NY Times Reviewed by Momizat on . Ambitious plans to overhaul the individual tax code, tackle corporate rates, revamp the Medicare program and consider changes in Social Security appear to have Ambitious plans to overhaul the individual tax code, tackle corporate rates, revamp the Medicare program and consider changes in Social Security appear to have Rating: 0
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Grand Bargains Give Way to Quick Fixes —NY Times

Ambitious plans to overhaul the individual tax code, tackle corporate rates, revamp the Medicare program and consider changes in Social Security appear to have given way mainly to a tax increases for big earners

Jennifer Steinhauer of the New York Times reports that “doing business in pieces” seems to be :the nature of what constitutes progress in such a sharply divided political world.”  More:

The confusing struggle to head off a national fiscal crisis has made one thing crystal clear: The era of the Big Deal is over.

 Despite repeated, intense and personal efforts by President Obama and Speaker John A. Boehner as well as bipartisan coalitions, gangs of senators, supercommittees, special commissions and wonky outsiders, the grand bargain remains the elusive holy grail of fiscal policy and seems destined to stay that way for now.

“We don’t seem to be able to do grand bargains very well,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, who has long been a force for compromise.

David Brooks at the Times weighs in the first day of the New Year by admonishing that ultimately the group we should blame the American voter.  He sets up his argument here:   

President Obama and Speaker John Boehner both earnestly wanted to achieve these things [a balanced program that would have combined spending cuts and targeted tax increases. They could have reduced Medicare spending on the rich to free up more money for young families]. But the deal we are heading toward is discouraging. Yes, the deal does raise $600 billion in revenue over 10 years from a tiny sliver of the population (compared with the $8 trillion in new debt likely to be accrued over that time).

But the proposal is not a balance of taxes and spending cuts. It doesn’t involve a single hard decision. It does little to control spending. It abandons all of the entitlement reform ideas that have been thrown around. It locks in low tax rates on families making less than around $450,000; it is simply impossible to avert catastrophe unless tax increases go below that line.

Far from laying the groundwork for future cooperation, it sentences the country to another few years of budget trench warfare. There will be a fight over drastic spending cuts known as sequestration, then over the debt limit and on and on.

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It Didn’t Quite Fully Work Out

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