Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government The Almighty Buck United States Politics

Debt Reduction Super Committee Fails To Agree 954

Posted by timothy
from the spend-all-you-want-they'll-print-more dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "VOA reports that the latest effort to cut the U.S. government's debt apparently has ended in failure as leaders of the special 12-member debt reduction committee plan to announce that they failed in their mandate from lawmakers to trim the federal debt by $1.2 trillion over the next decade. Democrats and Republicans blame each other for the collapse of the effort. 'Our Democratic friends were never able to do the entitlement reforms,' said Republican Senator Jon Kyl. 'They weren't going to do anything without raising taxes.' Democratic Senator Patty Murray, one of the committee's co-chairs, says that the Republicans' position on taxes was the sticking point. 'The wealthiest Americans who earn over a million a year have to share too. And that line in the sand, we haven't seen Republicans willing to cross yet,' Now in the absence of an agreement, $1.2 trillion in across-the-board spending cuts to domestic and defense programs are set to take effect starting in January, 2013, and the lack of a deal will deprive President Barack Obama of a vehicle for extending a payroll tax cut and insurance benefits for unemployed Americans, which expire at the end of the year." (Though the official deadline for the committee's hoped-for plan is tomorrow — the 23d — they were to have provided it for review 48 hours prior.)
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Debt Reduction Super Committee Fails To Agree

Comments Filter:
  • by cgfsd (1238866) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @09:50AM (#38134722)
    Line their pockets with gaff and offer them the opportunity to screw over the public.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:00AM (#38134818)

      This message brought to you by the George W Bush "I fucked you all but thanks for blaming it on the black guy" committee for Right-Wing "Truthiness."

  • by madhatter256 (443326) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @09:51AM (#38134730)

    The committee was like having a deer convince a wolf not to eat him and the wolf trying to convince the deer that it should be eaten.

    Take two polarizing political topics, put them in a room and you will get a stand still, especially when elections are just around the corner....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @09:52AM (#38134742)

    Jesus really?

    These aholes should just compromise. Raise taxes and cut spending. Do both. You can't agree? Well then why not fix the problem quickly by agreeing to these two points that would solve the problem in a hurry? Sure, I am not an economist, but I bet my understanding of solving the debt problem is just about as good as a senator or congressman who spends his time raising money all day, rather than trying to figure out this country's problems.

    (yes I could be very wrong, and i look forward to more intelligent replies below, but at least i have proposed a solution right there! much better than 90% of our leaders....)

    • by Moryath (553296) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:08AM (#38134884)

      That's what they were supposed to do. The committee's mandate was to look at both where taxes could be raised, and spending cut.

      Unfortunately, the Republicans are currently held hostage by the retard wing of the Republican Party, the Tea Tards, who are gung-ho on the "Grover Norquist Pledge" to never raise taxes on anyone who has enough money to donate to the Republican party and their various slush funds. Nevermind the fact that taxes on the rich are lower than they've been since the Truman administration. The end result is that the committee was going to fail, because the "party line" of the Republicans has grown under the "leadersship" of talk radio zealots like Hannity, Beck, and Limbaugh to be "no compromise, no sensible solutions, our-taliban-way-or-anarchy."

      David Frum said it best: the Republicans have completely lost touch with reality [nymag.com]. I encourage you to read the whole thing, he makes a lot of sense and it explains quite well how insane the Republican party has gotten.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:32AM (#38135196)

        Richard Nixon was denounced as a fascist by the baby boomers in the late 60s. What's he remembered for now other than Watergate? He opened diplomatic relations with Chinese Communists, instituted wage and price controls by the government to check inflation, and ended the war in Vietnam. He would be thrown out of the Republican Party today for being more liberal than Bill Clinton.

        It is amazing how much the Republicans, and those same boomers, have shifted to the right.

      • by Bucc5062 (856482) <bucc5062@gmaiMONETl.com minus painter> on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @11:00AM (#38135576)

        I read the article and was amazed at how spot on David Frun was in analyzing the republican party's woes (thus America's woes). His commentary about Fox News and the effect commercialized press has had on the party was chilling. The Coulters, Limbaughs, Becks, Hannitys of the sound media have only one interest, making money. Sadly, their method is to foment angst, division, and distrust so people will come back for more, the modern day owners of the coliseum. Thumbs up, thumbs down, it does not matter to them as long as the people come back to see the next show.

        For me, it is a sad day in this country when the First Lady of the United States of America is booed in public. A woman who has tried to do good things for people in this country. A mother with two good children. A representative of our country. This is a serious sign of disrespect brought about by the non-stop name calling, truth-bending, and derogatory statements from Fox, Rush, and company. Perhaps they need to watch "The Ox Bow Incident" to realize what happens with uncontrolled mobs. We are becoming the Mob the "Right" should be most afraid of. One of the best lines in the article:

        for it is the richest who have the most interest in political stability, which depends upon broad societal agreement that the existing distribution of rewards is fair and reasonable. If the social order comes to seem unjust to large numbers of people, what happens next will make Occupy Wall Street look like a street fair.

        Indeed, the mob is fickle, the mob is anarchy, the mob is and will be a creation of the radical party who's interests are of Self first, Party second, and country a distant third.

         

    • by Qzukk (229616) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:14AM (#38134958) Journal

      The Democrats were willing to cut spending a little and raise taxes a lot. The Republicans were willing to cut spending a lot (but not on their programs) and raise taxes only on the middle class.

      The whole thing was doomed from the start, the only time "bipartisianship" works is when both parties get to increase the power of government and fuck over everyone else. It's uncanny how, now that it's fallen apart, the Republicans are already rushing to break their promise of automatic spending cuts (but only on their programs). What principle! Of course, it's not without precedent, it's just like claiming that Medicare is saving money through cuts in doctors' pay that Congress cancels year after year.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:59AM (#38135564)

        "The Democrats were willing to cut spending a little and raise taxes a lot"

        Your facts are in error. The Democrats were on record offering a 17-1 ratio of cuts to revenue increases. Unless you've redefined a "little" and a "lot" in an interesting and misleading way, you're wrong.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:19AM (#38135040)

      The point everyone is missing is that the committee DID make a choice - a cowardly one at best. By punting they essentially chose the automatic spending cuts and can blame each other for what comes of it. We truly have no real leaders in Congress or the Whitehouse right now. The control of special interests in government has given us crony capitalism at all levels. We need to fix this asap.

    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:20AM (#38135046) Homepage

      Raise taxes and cut spending. Do both. You can't agree?

      The Republicans have signed a pledge [atr.org] that they will never vote to raise taxes on anybody for any reason whatsoever. If they violate that pledge, the head of the organization who created it can and will ensure they lose their seat by cutting off their campaign funding. So they really can't agree to raise taxes.

      When it comes to spending cuts, the big-ticket items are Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the military. Any serious cuts need to affect one of those 4 items. The Democrats have been elected for decades with pledges to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid at all costs - it's their party's signature program for the last 75 years or so, so they really can't cut any of those. The Republicans have been elected for decades with pledges to protect military manufacturing jobs in their district, so they really can't cut any of those.

      So in short, no they really can't, not without betraying everything they claim to stand for.

      • by swalve (1980968) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:39AM (#38135286)
        Social Security is completely separate. Pays for itself, and has trillions in surplus. Medicare and Medicaid would also pay for themselves, had W not created a massive entitlement via the drug program without raising the tax to pay for it.

        The US debt problem IS a revenue problem. Look at the chart [huffingtonpost.com]- the biggest contributor to the debt going forward is the Bush tax cut.
        • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:59AM (#38135556) Homepage

          Social Security is completely separate. Pays for itself, and has trillions in surplus.

          Well, yes and no.

          The yes part is that under current law, you're absolutely right.

          The no part is that the SSA, in order to access that surplus, has to demand payment on the loans it made to the general treasury, and the people in control of the general treasury don't want to pay them back and have an army to back them up.

      • by residieu (577863) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:57AM (#38135536)

        The Republicans have signed a pledge [atr.org] that they will never vote to raise taxes on anybody for any reason whatsoever. If they violate that pledge, the head of the organization who created it can and will ensure they lose their seat by cutting off their campaign funding.

        In other words, they have been blatantly bribed. They have signed a pledge admitting that they have been bribed.

      • by pavon (30274) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @11:14AM (#38135760)

        If the idiots in congress had actually done something (other than raise taxes) back in the early 80's when the NCSSR declared that social security would become insolvent, or in 1994 when Gingrich et.al. were making noise about it, or maybe even as late as 2000 when Gore made it a core part of his platform, then we could have had serious social security reform. The baby boomers would have had time to adjust their retirement plans and deal with the changes.

        It's too late now. The boomers are already retiring, and it isn't right to pull the rug out from underneath them after the government has been promising them their money back (they paid into the program after all). Raising taxes is the only option for social security now. Which sucks for my generation, but at least I have time to plan around it.

    • by MatthiasF (1853064) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:53AM (#38135474)

      Anyone who thought this committee would produce anything is completely out of touch with reality.

      The United States government, world-wide banks and foreign governments all rely on our debt as a safe hedge against inflation in their own countries. Our debt is sold as inflation-protected treasury bonds that growing and stagnant economies alike buy to make sure catastrophes in their own economies/banks don't wipe out them out. And the need for the debt is increasing with increased world-wide trade, off-shore production and international humanitarian efforts (earthquakes, floods, etc.), hence why the treasury bond rates have declined by so much.

      If the US government were to reduce the amount of debt it produces, treasury bond rates would increase not only increasing the cost of lending for consumers and banks, but also limiting the liquidity of money being moved around to hedge international risks which in turn would probably create another massive recession.

      Unfortunately, the only way to fix things is to reduce the need for others to buy our debt. Either by helping to improve foreign economies (so they need less debt to hedge against their own inflation/deflation), improving the economy in our own country (so our people need less debt) by creating jobs or reducing taxes on those with the most debt (while giving incentives to reduce their debt), plug holes in tax code and banking regulations to stop rampant speculation on markets (that causes national and international instability as well as a massive amount of lending when investors buy things on margin), or reducing the over-accumulation of wealth into fewer hands (a few people with lots of money causes massive risks).

      The first two needs require a massive amount of spending and the last two require a major overhaul of the tax code system, banking regulations and tax rates that give incentives for executives to leave money in the company and hire more people (like the income tax rates of the 1930s-50s and corporate tax rates aimed at median income targets). All are necessary, but it's very unlikely anymore than two will ever happen at once because of the two party political system in power.

      Since one particular party doesn't want any increased spending and no tax increases at all, the economy is going to continue to suffer and if things aren't corrected the US' debt will become a worthless hedge for others that will lead to a run on the bank to turn it in, causing an economic collapse unlike the world has ever seen.

  • I blame Norquist (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Enry (630) <enry@wayg a . net> on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @09:53AM (#38134752) Journal

    Completely taking tax increases off the table is stupid and shortsighted.

    • by Joce640k (829181) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:00AM (#38134822) Homepage

      No. Tax increases are only a temporary solution at best.. At some point somebody has to put their foot down and stop spending so much money.

      (Especially on "wars"...)

    • by RobinEggs (1453925) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:14AM (#38134966)

      Completely taking tax increases off the table is stupid and shortsighted.

      I'm not sure if you can lay it all on Norquist, but he's clearly the most powerful proponent of the stupidest, most obstructive Republicans in the budget mess. Norquist, the 96.5% of the Republicans in congress (238 of 242 House, 41 of 47 Senate) who signed his pledge, and every single Republican candidate won't do anything that raises taxes by a single dollar.

      And check out this:

      In a debate in August, Republican presidential candidates were asked whether they would support a budget deal that bundled $10 of spending cuts for every $1 of tax increases. All said no. They rejected any deal that involved raising taxes.

      So they hate raising taxes. We get it. These assholes still can't accept a proposal that goes in their favor 11 to 1? They reject it out of hand before even talking about what the spending cuts would be? Are they joking?!??!?

      Who the fuck supports a platform, for a major party in a democratic republic, that says: "We get every single thing we want and you get nothing you want. If you don't comply, we'll watch it all burn until you give it."

      That's not debate. That's not governing. It's fucking economic terrorism; it's taking hostage of 295 million people to satisfy your ideological hard-on.

      • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:42AM (#38135322)

        So they hate raising taxes. We get it. These assholes still can't accept a proposal that goes in their favor 11 to 1? They reject it out of hand before even talking about what the spending cuts would be? Are they joking?!??!?

        Tax increases have to be repealed. Note that noone ever write a tax increase with a built-in expiration date.

        Spending cuts are only meaningful for this year's budget. Future congresses are in no way obligated to honor an agreement to cut spending made last year. Hell, they're not even obligated to honor an agreement to cut spending made by THEM THIS YEAR.

        And finally, note that we've not had a Federal Budget for the entire Obama Presidency. Just a series of continuing resolutions. The Dems in the Senate stopped doing budget in 2008 so they wouldn't be hammered by their budget in the 2008 elections. And they've pretty much kept it up since then. The Republican House does a budget, sends it to the Senate, the Senate ignores it.

        Without a real Federal Budget, we're not going to actually get ANY spending cuts, even if both Parties agree to them.

        Who the fuck supports a platform, for a major party in a democratic republic, that says: "We get every single thing we want and you get nothing you want. If you don't comply, we'll watch it all burn until you give it."

        Sounds like the Dems, alright. Oh, you meant the Reps? Alas, both Parties are dancing to that tune right now. Don't put all the blame on the one side unless you're trying to show which Party you support.

        And note that by putting all the blame on the OTHER Party, you just convince everyone to who doesn't already support YOUR Party that your arguments are meaningless.

  • by Bardwick (696376) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @09:53AM (#38134756)
    Understand that most of what they are talking about is reductions in spending INCREASES, not cuts, ala Military. In the current lingo: You spend $100 in 2011, you planned to spend $125 in 2012. If you only spend $100 in 2012, it's called a 25% cut in the military... In most cases (by default), government spending goes up by 8% per year. If it only increase 4%, every screams "cut my program by 4%". Again, all of this rests on the ASSUMPTION that we have a budget, which we do not. The United States has not passed a budget in about 3 years...
  • by Compaqt (1758360) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @09:55AM (#38134776) Homepage

    The reason they're not getting anywhere with spending cuts is the game has been rigged in favor of spending increases in the first place.

    They have generous rates of increase built into the budgeting process. All of the so-called "cuts" are actually (slight) decreases to the rate of increase.

    They could plug up the deficit merely by having slightly greater increase rate decreases.

    Anyways, they can cut now, or they can have the universe cut for them. There's a limit to how much you can just keep spending pretend money.

    A related rant is how Congress has gotten around the 27th amendment. That was supposed to say there should be an election in between Congressional pay raises. But they came up with a process whereby they get automatic cost of living increases without voting on it. Flagrantly unconstitutional. It's the same sort of thing.

    • by Cthefuture (665326) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:13AM (#38134940)

      And it's not just the government that does that, businesses do it too. Over the past few years we have seen consumers cutting back personal budgets which causes businesses and governments to increase prices or look for other sneaky ways to get more money from people in order to make their next budget cycle. Which then causes consumers to cut back even more, which then causes business to increase prices even more... and so on.

      The whole thing is about to implode here at some point if businesses and government don't recognize that they need to seriously cut spending just like us normal people have been doing. You can't have infinite budget increases when the economy is going the opposite direction.

  • Kick'em all out (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vinn (4370) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @09:55AM (#38134778) Homepage Journal

    I say we all get together and agree to not re-elect a single member of Congress. We could clear the entire House next year and a decent chunk of the Senate. I don't care if the new members are democrats, republicans, blue, green, red, or purple, it just seems like the entrenched politics is completely broken.

    It's too bad we can't figure out a way to just throw them into jail.

    • by Viewsonic (584922) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:54AM (#38135494)

      Did you not pay attention to the 2010 elections? Many were kicked out because they wanted something new. Now we have even WORSE people in office. Change for the sake of change rarely works. Quit saying this. Vote for people that back your views, or at the very least vote for the least evil if that doesn't exist.

  • by jellie (949898) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @09:57AM (#38134798)

    I don't know why everyone tries to be "fair" and blame the Republicans and Democrats equally for not "compromising." Any rational person knows that it makes no sense trying to close a budget deficit without raising taxes and undoing some of the damage of the Bush years (when he cut taxes for the wealthy, estate taxes, capital gains taxes, etc.) The Republicans were never going to agree to anything, but they get to play the blame game as usual.

    • by downhole (831621) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:12AM (#38134928) Homepage Journal

      Says who? Every time we get into one of these debt crises, people say we have to cut spending and raise taxes. And in the end, the taxes get raised, but the spending never actually gets cut, and so the Government just gets bigger and bigger and bigger. It's gotta stop somewhere. That's why I say no tax increases until we've really cut spending. Like not a small decrease in the rate of future increases, more like 10% actual cuts across the board, including both entitlement programs and the military.

      • by Alomex (148003) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:33AM (#38135204) Homepage

        And in the end, the taxes get raised, but the spending never actually gets cut, and so the Government just gets bigger and bigger and bigger.

        Actually spending went down during the Clinton years as percentage of GDP, which is the metric that matters. The last time before that when spending went down was during the Kennedy/Johnson administration.

        You should note that there is no a priori "right" level of expenditures. You can choose to create a Haiti still level of government services in which case 10% of GDP in government expenditures would be too high, or you can create a cradle-to-grave, free education, free health care, safe streets, government backed pensions, system like in Sweden, and if you can provide that for 30% of GDP you are getting the deal of the century.

        So rather than asking for more or less government spending, how about asking for efficient government programs for a change?

      • by Herkum01 (592704) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:39AM (#38135292)

        Thanks for the insight Grover Norquist, you have been a big help!

    • by muffen (321442) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:28AM (#38135126)

      The Republicans were never going to agree to anything.

      Oh but they did agree to something, they agreed to go into the discussion AFTER signing the "Taxpayer Protection Pledge": http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/21/grover-norquist-tax-lobbyist-supercommittee-gop [guardian.co.uk]
      They really set themselves up for success on that one.
      "I know, lets go into a discussion about the US finances, but before we do, let's remove some of the most powerful tools in our toolbox completely"

      I'm a european working for an American company, and have always been impressed with how American companies do business, their aggressive plans and the "everything is up for grabs" mentality. Lately however, I've been equally unimpressed by the opposite, here we are, facing a massive problem, and the American politicians are behaving like babies.
      The response? Smoke weed on wall-street!

  • by cardpuncher (713057) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @09:57AM (#38134802)

    It is, of course, the same picture in Europe. Governments aren't capable of delivering pain to their core supporters and therefore can't deliver rational solutions to the most serious problems they face.

    The answer is to swap governments - the Dutch elect the Greek government and the Greeks elect the Dutch government, for example. The electorate is sufficiently detached to evaluate the choices more dispassionately, but have sufficient incentive to be diligent as they know if they really cock it up they'll be shafted in turn.

    Anyone want to draw lots?

    • by MadKeithV (102058) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:09AM (#38134892)

      The answer is to swap governments - the Dutch elect the Greek government and the Greeks elect the Dutch government, for example. The electorate is sufficiently detached to evaluate the choices more dispassionately, but have sufficient incentive to be diligent as they know if they really cock it up they'll be shafted in turn.

      Close, actually. IMHO all parties ("both parties" for you USians) should agree together to stand down to form a time-limited technocratic austerity government. This would be a sacrificial government - the political parties can be certain these guys don't get re-elected because the measures necessary will be deeply unpopular.

      And if we're REALLY lucky, the people will actually prove the original political parties wrong in the next election and re-elect some of the more successful technocrats.

  • This is a surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:02AM (#38134836) Homepage

    The Democrats appear to have located their spines.

    The game that's been going on for over a year is simple:
    1. Make demands in exchange for continuing to have a functioning government after some deadline.
    2. "negotiate" with the Democrats until several hours before the deadline.
    3. Democrats blink, make an 11th-hour deal with Republicans to give them about 95% of their original demands.
    4. Democrats declare victory and tell their constituents that the 5% that they got is worth it. Their constituents, apparently not as stupid as the Democratic politicians, don't believe them.
    5. Republicans declare victory, and tell their constituents that the 5% cost was worth it, because they'll get rid of it soon enough. They then locate the next deadline they can use.

  • went as planned (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:10AM (#38134910)
    I surprised everyone is fooled by this. The solution to the problem at hand is obvious... Cuts in both military spending as well as social programs, and ending the Bush tax cuts... in fact, we probably need even more than that. But how can the republicans raise taxes and cut military spending and then go home and get re-elected? How can democrats cut social spending and not invent some new "screw the rich" tax? It would require a diabolical plan... pass a law that says if a special committee cant agree on a plan, all these things happen... Then find people to be on the committee that are all as far left and right as possible so that, not only will they not agree, but their respective electorate will praise them for not making a deal with those evil republicans/democrats. Taxes go up, spending goes down, everyone can blame everyone else... It's perfect! The only problem? Even this wasn't enough. We're still doomed.
  • by Assmasher (456699) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:17AM (#38135002) Journal

    ...seriously people?

    F*** what I wouldn't give for the Clinton years again. Smart president, likes a little scandal, smart Republican congress, keeping each other in balance with COMPROMISE and working together. Ignoring that whole ridiculous impeachment thing (personally, I'm happier when the President is known to be getting some.)

    Now? Well meaning, if weak (first term-itis), President, diametrically opposed Republican Congress who are caught between a rock and a hard place trying to embrace the Tea Party while ignoring its ridiculous 'no compromise' policies.

    I remember when I first heard about the tea-party, it sounded good. People wanting common sense and a return to 'founding father' kinds of ways. Then it became popular and got hijacked by the whack jobs. The founding fathers espoused compromise and working together - the tea party? Hell no, "My way or the highway" is more their tune.

    Government meant to operate in balance cannot operate when one part of the government simply will not work with the others.

    Do I want my taxes to go up? F*** no. Should they go up to solve debt problems in addition to cutting spending? Of course. Make corporations making over 10 million dollars actually pay taxes? What a crazy idea...

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @10:22AM (#38135068)
    Thank You America for letting us in Europe feel that we are not alone in being governed by a bunch of self-serving idiots
  • by Surt (22457) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @12:24PM (#38136758) Homepage Journal

    that one side was willing to compromise. One side wants to cut entitlements, the other to raise taxes. Republicans say: the Democrats wouldn't compromise and do it all by cutting entitlements. The Democrats say: the Republicans wouldn't compromise and do it with a mix of taxes and entitlement cuts.

    One side just sounds saner here. It's depressing.

  • by AdamWill (604569) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @12:58PM (#38137306) Homepage

    Just read the two statements in the summary. Nothing else is necessary.

    Republican: "Our Democratic friends were never able to do the entitlement reforms. They weren't going to do anything without raising taxes."

    Democrat: "The wealthiest Americans who earn over a million a year have to share too. And that line in the sand, we haven't seen Republicans willing to cross yet."

    I mean, one of those is clearly a bald-faced misrepresentation: this is made clear within the statement itself. In the first sentence he flatly claims that Democrats would not "do the entitlement reforms". In the very next sentence he makes it clear that this is simply a lie: Democrats were entirely ready to do entitlement reforms, but on the condition that they were accompanied by tax increases. You know, compromise. That thing two sides who don't agree are supposed to do for the greater good.

    The Democrat, by contrast, simply states that the Republicans would not agree to anything that included tax rises - whatever entitlement cuts were involved.

    I just don't see where's the room for interpretation or greyness there. From their own statements it's quite clear that the Republicans are a) fundamentally dishonest and b) utterly unwilling to compromise.

Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle. -- Steinbach

Working...