The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

October 21, 2013

Despite setback, GOP has impressive budgetary wins

(Continued)

Republicans instead chose to swallow the sequester cuts, even for programs they like. That's one reason discretionary spending — which excludes entitlements and accounts for about 40 percent of the federal budget — is projected to reach historic lows in the years ahead.

Anti-tax champions are crowing.

"Republicans have the high ground," said Grover Norquist, author of a "no new taxes" pledge reviled by many in Washington and signed by most Republicans in Congress.

In the upcoming round of bipartisan talks, he said, Democrats will have little leverage to seek new revenues.

Some Republicans say closing tax loopholes might generate a bit more revenue. But anything categorized as a "tax increase" is "a nonstarter," Norquist said, "because Republicans are not going to raise taxes."

Republicans weren't always so adamant about not raising taxes, and Democrats weren't always so resigned to that stand. Bush's big tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 were deeply controversial. Countless interest groups denounced them, and most Democrats and a few Senate Republicans opposed them.

Over time, however, Republicans strongly supported their full continuation, beyond their 10-year expiration date. And Democrats, including Obama, agreed to make permanent the Bush-era tax cuts for everyone except couples making more than $450,000.

Since Republicans took over the House in 2011, the combination of spending cuts and tax hikes is projected to reduce deficits by nearly $4 trillion over 10 years. The formula calls for about $1 in new revenue for every $4 in spending cuts, a ratio that dismays liberals.

The agreements have barely dented Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Officials say these automatically expanding programs will consume ever-larger portions of government spending if not modified.

Democrats, conceding they can't overcome the Republicans' no-new-taxes stand, suggest the renewed bipartisan talks are unlikely to yield significant changes to entitlement growth.

That's too bad, says Bruce Bartlett, a domestic policy aide to President Ronald Reagan and a Treasury official under President George H. W. Bush. "Small changes now would compound into meaningful dollars saved decades down the road," he said.

Text Only
AP National
  • Air travel a leap of faith for passengers WASHINGTON (AP) — Airline travel requires passengers to make a leap of faith, entrusting their lives to pilots, airlines, air traffic controllers and others who regulate air travel. Even after a week of multiple tragedies in worldwide aviation, "Ther

    July 25, 2014

  • Pot may be legal, but homeowner agreements can ban DENVER (AP) — Pot may be legal in some states — but the neighbors don't have to like it. Marijuana and hemp have joined wacky paint colors and unsightly fences as common neighborhood disputes facing homeowners' associations. Though a few HOAs have wi

    July 25, 2014

  • Central American leaders convening at White House WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will urge Central American leaders to help slow the influx of unaccompanied children fleeing their countries for the United States, even as Congress remains deeply divided over proposals to stem the crisis at

    July 25, 2014

  • Little sunlight as Obama raises super PAC dollars WASHINGTON (AP) — For years President Barack Obama railed against the surge of unlimited spending flowing into American political campaigns, arguing that average voters were being shut out of a secretive system that lets special interests bankroll el

    July 25, 2014

  • Prosecutor: Man faces charges in hospital shooting DARBY, Pa. (AP) — A man who authorities say fatally shot a caseworker at a hospital complex near Philadelphia and was then shot by his psychiatrist remains listed in critical condition. District Attorney Jack Whelan said Richard Plotts would be arrai

    July 25, 2014

  • Social Security's $300M IT project doesn't work WASHINGTON (AP) — The Social Security Administration has spent nearly $300 million on a new computer system to handle disability claims, but the agency can't get it to work. And officials can't say when it will. Six years ago, Social Security embarke

    July 24, 2014

  • JFK returns to old look in new collectors' coins WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — President John F. Kennedy is getting his old look back on new collectors' coins. The slain president's profile debuted on the half dollar 50 years ago, and the image was subtly tweaked and sharpened in the 1990s. Now the U.S.

    July 24, 2014

  • FAA lifts ban on US flights to Tel Aviv airport WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration has lifted its ban on U.S. flights in and out of Israel. The end of the ban, which the agency had imposed out of concern for the risk of planes being hit by Hamas rockets, was effective at 11:45 p

    July 24, 2014

  • Man run over by own truck during road rage GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A man in Florida apparently got a dose of road rage karma when police say he was run over by his own pickup truck after getting out to bang on another driver's window. It happened Tuesday evening in Gainesville, Florida. The

    July 24, 2014

  • New Jersey sues over Florida pizza shop logo TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants a Florida pizza shop to pay a big toll for using a logo similar to the Garden State Parkway's green and yellow signs. The agency sued Jersey Boardwalk Pizza Tuesday in federal court over th

    July 24, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National