"Fiscal cliff" averted (sort of). Check. Debt ceiling postponed. Check. Credit rating reduction avoided. Check. Economy apparently stabilized for now. Check. Deficit reduction? Hmmmm.
The partisan arguments that characterized discussions related to averting the fiscal cliff and vanished when it came to the debt ceiling are about to rear their heads again as
Thankfully, February is a short month.
Lawmakers have until
The sequester was enacted during the summer of 2011 fight over the debt ceiling as a trigger to make
Under questioning by reporters last week,
"Significant revenue is achievable through tax reform," Carney said. "And it has to be part of a balanced approach, an approach which has always in the president's proposals seen more spending cuts than revenue, and that reflects the kind of balance that allows us to make sure that the burden of deficit reduction is not borne solely by senior citizens or the middle class but more broadly; that asks the wealthiest, including corporations, to pay their fair share; asks people to play by the same set of rules.
"That's just an approach that is broadly supported by the American people. And it makes sense, as it did in getting us to the
Carney noted during the earlier discussions House Speaker
Other suggestions have included trimming
If lawmakers go that route, they better watch out. The third-rail of U.S. politics is alive and well.
A trade-off analysis conducted as part of an overall assessment of
Fears over what
Some economists tout the sequester as the shock the economy needs to get back to normal -- pain at first but then more robust growth. That camp says the intervention that prevented the U.S. economy from slipping into a second Great Depression following the housing bust is responsible for slow growth now and stubbornly high unemployment.
"The point of the trigger that created these across-the-board cuts evenly divided between defense and non-defense was to make them so onerous that that fact would compel
"We disagree with those in
And the House wants to force a balanced budget. It takes up a measure next week that would require Obama to project a date-certain when the budget can be balanced when he submits his 2014 spending plan -- something the
Experts estimate the deficit has been reduced
Obama has proposed
"It says here in
"So our point is there are responsible ways to deal with this. The American public believes that we ought to be responsible in the way that we deal -- the ways that we deal with it."
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