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Cracker Squire


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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

As Talks Open, Democrats Show Signs of Division

From The New York Times:

President Obama and congressional Democrats, astonishingly united through recent fiscal fights with Republicans, were showing some divisions as budget negotiations opened on Wednesday between the House and Senate to avert another crisis in coming months.

Democrats in Congress insist that Republicans, to prevent billions of dollars in scheduled cuts to military programs next year, must agree instead to raise new revenues by closing some tax breaks. But the White House, eager to end the arbitrary cuts known as sequestration for both military and domestic programs, has not linked taxes and Pentagon spending for a short-term budget deal covering a year or two.

By all accounts Mr. Obama still wants Democrats and Republicans to try yet again for a sweeping, long-term budget accord. Such a grand bargain would provide immediate spending for infrastructure, education and other public investments while reducing future annual deficits by trillions of dollars through both tax increases and reductions in the fast-growing entitlement programs, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Time and opportunity for such legacy-making action is running out in his presidency, even as more baby boomers retire and begin drawing benefits.
But Democratic leaders in the House and the Senate have joined with their Republican counterparts to rule out any long-term deal — Republicans because they refuse to consider tax changes and Democrats because they will not consider changing the popular benefit programs without Republican concessions on revenues — especially with midterm congressional elections approaching in 2014. Mr. Obama is deferring to the Democratic leaders, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California.
Among the potential areas for alternative savings are farm subsidies and federal pensions. But Democrats in Congress do not want to set a precedent that program cuts alone will substitute for sequester savings in future years; they want some revenue increases as well, especially as Republicans demand relief for military spending.


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