… when one side has no intention of giving ground. Erin McPike writes for RealClearPolitics.com about D.C. Democrats’ curious refusal to address a key issue driving the federal government toward a “fiscal cliff.”
As President Obama and leading House Republicans make their cases to the American public about what should be part of fiscal cliff negotiations, there is a growing clash in the Senate over the inclusion of entitlement programs in any “grand bargain.”
In order to avoid crushing tax hikes and deep spending cuts set to hit at the beginning of next year, the White House and congressional leaders are busy trying to hammer out some kind of “balanced” approach that would lead to deficit reduction without harming the economy’s slow recovery. At this early stage of the negotiations, high-profile Republicans have indicated a willingness to accept higher taxation of some Americans to raise revenue, but Democrats have not shown the same readiness to compromise on issues similarly important to their base.
At issue are expensive entitlement programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Republicans working on the deal say they are willing to stand down on certain revenue increases — like the elimination of loopholes and deductions that benefit wealthier Americans — so long as Democrats agree to move forward on reforms to those sacred entitlement programs.
One by one, however, Democratic senators have taken to the cable airwaves this week to say they are not willing to touch Social Security.