GOP Presidential Candidates Assail Possible Tax Changes In Deficit Deal
As members of the super committee race against the clock in their quest for a plan to reduce the deficit, some of the Republicans running for president criticize efforts that would raise taxes.
The Associated Press/Washington Post: GOP Hopefuls Oppose Potential Deficit Deal As Super Committee Struggles
Republican presidential hopefuls are assaulting a proposal by GOP lawmakers on a bipartisan deficit-reduction panel that calls for increased tax revenues even as the special super committee appears increasingly headed for deadlock. … Meanwhile, the No. 2 House Republican, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, declined to endorse a proposal for almost $300 billion in higher tax revenues over the coming decade offered last week by fellow Republicans on the bipartisan congressional panel last week (11/15).
In other news about the super committee, news outlets report about the ongoing negotiations and how they could put a damper on holiday celebrations. Also, KHN offers a wishlist on health issues before the panel.
Reuters: Obama: U.S. Budget Talks Could Disrupt Holiday Plans
Obama said his wife Michelle and their two daughters would return to Hawaii soon for their traditional Christmas vacation trip but said his own plans hinged on whether Washington could break a deadlock on key pieces of legislation. ... Obama defended his signature health care legislation, saying it would provide security for Americans "so that if you get sick — if you have a preexisting condition — you can still afford to get health insurance, you will still have access to quality care." ... Obama also discussed his grandmother, who passed away in 2008, to make the case against Republican proposals to rein in Medicare spending (Bohan and MacInnis, 11/14).
The Wall Street Journal: Deficit Deal Might Delay Tax Overhaul
Budget experts, meanwhile, said recent movement on both sides suggested that a meaningful deal remains within reach for the congressional super committee — even with only 10 days left before its Nov. 23 deadline (McKinnon, 11/15).
The New York Times: Deficit Panel Still Talking As Others Focus On Spending Bills
As members of the Congressional deficit reduction panel retreated to conference rooms Monday to continue negotiations, House Republicans and Senate Democrats were putting their final touches on a series of spending bills that they hope will avert another showdown over short-term financing of the government. ... The discussions among members of the deficit reduction committee reflect the wrangling over spending writ large, and the members' inability to reach a compromise with less than two weeks to their deadline to present to the full Congress has unnerved lawmakers (Steinhauer and Pear, 11/14).
Politico: Medicare Savings By Raising The Eligibility Age Could Be A Mirage
One way to save Medicare money is to gradually boost the eligibility age from 65 to 67, eventually aligning it with the older Social Security age being phased in. The idea is popular among Republicans, some Democrats and various deficit experts. Even President Barack Obama said last summer that he could consider it as part of a comprehensive deficit-cutting package. The House Republicans included it in their budget proposal last spring, which passed without Democratic support. And it's an element of Mitt Romney's Medicare overhaul blueprint (Dobias, 11/14).
National Journal: Deal Or No Deal: Are Medicare And Medicaid Cuts Coming?
The federal health programs, along with Social Security, are projected to grow from 10 to 15 percent of GDP in the next 25 years. Democrats are already looking at ways to hem that in — last week Democrats floated a super committee proposal to cut $400 billion from federal health programs, in part by asking Medicare beneficiaries to pay an extra $100 billion to cover the cost of their care. Republicans have been pushing for more drastic, structural changes to Medicare, like transforming the entitlement program into a voucher system (McCarthy, 11/14).
Kaiser Health News: Interest Group Wish List: A Window Into The Challenge For The Super Committee
The super committee, a.k.a. the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, must offer Congress by Nov. 23 its ideas on how to trim at least $1.2 billion over 10 years from the federal deficit. ... To help give a sense of the enormity of the pressure faced by panel members, KHN has examined just one of many areas the committee must consider. Here is a sampling of the advice and requests from health care interests (11/14). Check out the video montage that highlights some of the advocacy groups' ads.