Paul Ryan: Obama 2nd term ‘won’t be pretty’

Paul Ryan: Obama 2nd term ‘won’t be pretty’

Paul Ryan (left) and President Obama (right) are shown in this composite photo. | AP Photo

Ryan says Obama’s agenda will lead to ‘health-care price controls and rationing.’ | AP Photo

By DAVID ROGERS | 1/26/13 12:35 PM EST

Holding out little hope of compromise, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan predicted Saturday that the nation will face “tepid growth and deficits” under President Barack Obama and Republicans must prudently “buy time” and “keep the bond markets at bay — for the sake of our people.”

The Wisconsin Republican and 2012 vice presidential candidate made his remarks before the National Review Institute in a speech titled “The Principle of Prudence and the Conservative Renewal.” But most striking was the grim tone and almost total absence of any confidence that progress can be made between the two political parties in the budget process this year. Continue reading “Paul Ryan: Obama 2nd term ‘won’t be pretty’”

The fiscal cliff deal that almost wasn’t

The fiscal cliff deal that almost wasn’t

By: John Bresnahan and Carrie Budoff Brown and Manu Raju and Jake Sherman
January 2, 2013 12:21 AM EST

From left: John Boehner, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid are pictured. | AP Photos

House Speaker John Boehner couldn’t hold back when he spotted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the White House lobby last Friday.

It was only a few days before the nation would go over the fiscal cliff, no bipartisan agreement was in sight, and Reid had just publicly accused Boehner of running a “dictatorship” in the House and caring more about holding onto his gavel than striking a deal.

“Go f— yourself,” Boehner sniped as he pointed his finger at Reid, according to multiple sources present.

Reid, a bit startled, replied: “What are you talking about?”

Boehner repeated: “Go f— yourself.” Continue reading “The fiscal cliff deal that almost wasn’t”

The price tag: $4 trillion added to deficit

The price tag: $4 trillion added to deficit

The Capitol and U.S. Currency are pictured in this composite photo.

The compromise could add $4 trillion in debt in the next 10 years.

By DAVID ROGERS | 1/1/13 3:03 PM EST

The White House-Senate Republican tax compromise could add almost $4 trillion in debt over the next 10 years, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates, which attribute most of the cost to lost revenues or payments on refundable tax credits.

The three-page table was released Tuesday even as House Republicans were meeting behind closed doors on the deal. And while the numbers can be understood only with some context, they could also spook deficit-conscious conservatives into demanding more spending cuts.

CBO begins its analysis from its March current law baseline that assumes all of Bush-era tax cuts would expire at New Year’s Day, and therefore gives no deficit-reduction credit for the fact that the deal begins to raise rates for the wealthiest Americans. Continue reading “The price tag: $4 trillion added to deficit”

Enjoy the fiscal cliff debate? Just wait for the debt ceiling

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Enjoy the fiscal cliff debate? Just wait for the debt ceiling

The Capitol Dome is pictured. | Jay Westcott/POLITICO
By: Joseph J. Schatz and Patrick Reis
January 1, 2013 01:17 PM EST

The fiscal cliff has consumed Washington for months, but it may end up being the long opening act for a fiscal drama with even higher stakes: the debt ceiling.

Even as senators breathed a sigh of relief and overwhelmingly passed a historic tax deal to avert the much-feared fiscal cliff early Jan. 1, Congress was already lurching right into the new round of brinksmanship. Continue reading “Enjoy the fiscal cliff debate? Just wait for the debt ceiling”

America awaits House action on cliff

America awaits House action on cliff

By: Jake Sherman and Carrie Budoff Brown and Kate Nocera
January 1, 2013 02:58 AM EST

Congress lost a mad, New Year’s Eve dash to beat the fiscal cliff deadline, cinching a deal with President Barack Obama to raise taxes on the wealthy and temporarily freeze deep spending cuts but failing to get it through both chambers before midnight.

So over the cliff the country went — though perhaps for only a day or two and, assuming no snags, without incurring the double whammy of another recession and higher unemployment.

Vice President Joe Biden emerges from fiscal cliff talks. | Mahaskey photo(PHOTOS: Fiscal cliff’s key players)

The measure, which would raise tax rates for families making more than $450,000 and delay deep across-the-board spending cuts for two months, cleared the Senate by an overwhelming 89-8 vote shortly after 2 a.m. The Republican-controlled House could take up the pact in a rare New Year’s Day session, though the timing of that chamber’s vote was not clear.

The $620 billion agreement was a major breakthrough in a partisan standoff that has dragged on for months, spooking Wall Street and threatening to hobble the economic recovery. It turned back the GOP’s two-decade-long refusal to raise tax rates, delivering a major win for the president. Continue reading “America awaits House action on cliff”