Author Topic: Fiscal deal opens door to big tax and entitlement changes  (Read 376 times)

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Offline EC

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Fiscal deal opens door to big tax and entitlement changes
« on: October 17, 2013, 04:24:24 AM »
Via NBC:

By Tom Curry, NBC News

The deal struck Wednesday in Washington could make it easier for lawmakers to make big changes to tax policy, spending and entitlement programs.

Here’s a look at what is in the accord, what didn’t make the cut and what’s coming down the pipeline.

This deal is an important way forward for big policy changes
While a lot of the news focused on the aspects of the deal that ended the shutdown and prevented default, the plan also calls for an agreement by mid-December on a long-term budget plan.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor Wednesday that under his agreement with Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, the two leaders would name members to a bicameral budget conference committee “that will set our country on a long-term path to fiscal sustainability.”

Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid announces a bipartisan deal has been reached in the Senate to raise the debt limit and reopen the government.

The House and Senate each have already passed their own conflicting versions of a budget plan for 2014. The aim of this committee would be to come up with a compromise budget blueprint which would then be put to a vote in each House.

This blueprint could be the vehicle for major policy changes intended to reduce budget deficits and debt. These might include tax increases and curbs in the entitlement programs such as Medicare.

The budget plan could also include a relaxation of the cuts in discretionary spending -- the sequester -- that are required by the 2011 Budget Control Act.

The ultimate deal may end up looking like the one that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., proposed last week in a Wall Street Journal op-ed: “We could provide relief from the discretionary spending levels in the Budget Control Act in exchange for structural reforms to entitlement programs.”

Ryan -- who would be a leader of the conference committee -- said what he has in mind “isn’t a grand bargain,” but “modest reforms to entitlement programs and the tax code.”

He noted approvingly that Obama has already called for wealthier retirees to pay higher premiums for their Medicare coverage than they now do.

More at link.

Maybe I am just being foolish, but it seems NBC is drifting off the reservation with this piece.
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