The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

October 21, 2013

Despite setback, GOP has impressive budgetary wins

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats who gloat over Republicans' bad week in Congress might pause to recall that conservatives still own major victories from past budget showdowns. And these wins may again thwart Democrats' hopes of changing tax-and-spend policies in two-party talks beginning anew in the Capitol.

Chief among them is Republicans' unified stand against tax increases, even in the name of deficit reduction.

President Barack Obama wants more revenue from corporations and the wealthy for two goals: investing in areas such as education and infrastructure and enticing congressional Democrats to start curbing the growth of Social Security, Medicare and other "entitlement" programs.

Congressional Republicans' adamant stand against revenue hikes, perhaps more than any other factor, has shaped budget negotiations over the past three years. That's why Republicans have a stronger record than many might suspect, especially given their pell-mell retreat last week on the government shutdown and debt ceiling.

Prodded by tea party activists who deplored deficit spending under Republican President George W. Bush, today's GOP lawmakers repeatedly call for budget cuts. By that measure, they've had a respectable run.

The mandatory spending cuts known as the "sequester," which emerged from earlier budget stalemates, will total about $1 trillion through 2021, unless changed. That's in addition to $1.5 trillion in spending cuts agreed to in 2011, in yet another debt-ceiling showdown.

To be sure, the GOP's anti-tax stand isn't bullet proof. Obama and Democratic lawmakers extracted $620 billion in tax hikes over 10 years in last December's "fiscal cliff" showdown.

Some liberals complain, however, that Obama could have — and should have — gotten more while he had the chance. Obama campaigned on raising income taxes on all couples earning more than $250,000. But he ultimately settled for a $450,000 cutoff. Aides said he thought Republicans would agree to other revenue hikes later.

Text Only
AP National
  • With Israel at war, US lawmakers give full support WASHINGTON (AP) — As the war in Gaza escalates, U.S. lawmakers are pressing the Obama administration to take no action that puts pressure on Israel to halt its military campaign against Hamas. Many even have criticized the administration's effort to

    July 29, 2014

  • Abuse suspect dead; two marshals, NY policeman hurt NEW YORK (AP) — A California man who skipped town after being accused of molesting a boy was killed and three law enforcement officers trying to arrest him were wounded in a daytime shootout inside a small smoke shop in one of New York's most bustlin

    July 29, 2014

  • Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute. These consumers fall behind on credit cards or hospital bill

    July 29, 2014

  • Despite good news, benefit programs face problems WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite some good news, Medicare and Social Security still face long-term financial problems as millions of baby boomers reach retirement. Social Security's disability program is already in crisis as it edges toward the brink of ins

    July 29, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR ENTERS FOURTH WEEK — DURATION, DEATHS MATCH FIRST CONFLICT Heaviest bombardment in Gaza yet as Israeli aircraft, tanks and nav

    July 29, 2014

  • NYC uses food trucks to bring summer meals to kids NEW YORK (AP) — Within minutes, the line at the food truck parked on a busy Queens thoroughfare extended several people deep. Hipster foodies looking to sample vegan pizzas or fusion tacos? Nope, these were children, agonizing over whether to pick th

    July 29, 2014

  • Avoiding plane crashes as air traffic doubles NEW YORK (AP) — More travelers are flying than ever before, creating a daunting challenge for airlines: keep passengers safe in an ever more crowded airspace. Each day, 8.3 million people around the globe — roughly the population of New York City — s

    July 29, 2014

  • Analysis: Clinton impeachment shadows GOP lawsuit WASHINGTON (AP) — The last time Republicans unleashed impeachment proceedings against a Democratic president, they lost five House seats in an election they seemed primed to win handily. Memories of Bill Clinton and the campaign of 1998 may help expl

    July 28, 2014

  • After six weeks, finally a deal on VA health care WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays. Congressi

    July 28, 2014

  • US: Russia has fired rockets into Ukraine WASHINGTON (AP) — Stepping up pressure on Moscow, the U.S. on Sunday released satellite images it says show that rockets have been fired from Russia into neighboring eastern Ukraine and that heavy artillery for separatists has crossed the border. The

    July 28, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National