Source: Washington Post
Well, they’re meeting, I read, but no point in trying to round up all the rumors swirling around.
I’ll stress only two points here.
First, the President is unquestionably correct to insist on an increase in the debt ceiling that takes us to 2013. This impossible Rubik’s-cube-of-a-negotiation only gets harder if we have to go through it again in the context of a presidential election.
Second, there are few words I’ve come to disdain more in this debate than, “which baseline?” Playing fast and loose with the prospective budget path of your choice makes the numbers impossible for normal people to follow, even if they were crazy enough to try.
But that said, I must stress that I, for one, would not consider revenue raised from ending the high end Bush tax cuts to be “new” revenue—around $800 billion over 10 years—to be claimed by either side as adding balance to a deal that will already clearly be tilted towards spending cuts.
I get that this sunset is no slamdunk, and would of course be happy to see it. But it is widely expected and was embedded in the baselines of most major plans discussed so far, including the fiscal commission and Gang’o’6.
And, to be fair and balanced, spending-cut-freaks have a right to say the same thing about claiming $1 trillion over 10 in savings from drawing down the wars. Those fully-expected savings should be in the baseline too.