What a typical response from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, it’s imposable to negotiate in good faith when the other side doesn’t understand the facts or blatantly makes up their own. The fact is raising medicare’s retirement age will help achieve the Universal Coverage liberals are constantly clamoring for.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says raising the eligibility age for Medicare benefits is just a political “trophy” for Republicans because the idea would not strengthen the program.
“We don’t want to hurt beneficiaries,” Pelosi told CNN’s Candy Crowley on Sunday. “We certainly want to strengthen Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid. We want to make them more fiscally sound. We want to make sure that for the purpose that they have been instituted, they’re honoring the purpose and the taxpayer, and the beneficiaries are getting their money’s worth.”
“The rising cost of health care in our country is the biggest increase to the rising cost of Medicare,” she explained. “So stopping the drastic increase of the cost of health care is important for our whole economy and health care. Especially important when it comes to Medicare is it’s already working — 0.4 percent, the rate of increase, much slower than it had been. And as I said, Medicaid [is] not increasing. Now, we want to do better than that.”
Myth 1. Age-raising disproportionately harms minorities and the poor
The number one argument you hear from many liberals—and it’s the one most easily refuted—is that raising the retirement age disproportionately harms lower-income seniors, and by extension ethnic minorities, because minorities tend to have lower incomes and lower life expectancies. “Raising the Medicare eligibility age would have a disproportionate impact on minorities,” writes Sarah Kliff in the Washington Post, citing a Health Affairs study from 2003.
But, as Sarah acknowledges, this isn’t 2003, it’s 2012. In the intervening nine years, some important changes have been made to our health-care system: most notably, Obamacare.
Because Obamacare subsidizes health insurance for everyone under 400 percent of the federal poverty level—$60,520 for a two-person household—lower-income seniors would be protected under any increase in the retirement age. In 1998, 46 percent of seniors made less than 400 percent of FPL. In other words, raising the retirement age to 67 is a way of focusing taxpayer resources on those with below-average incomes: what Medicare should have been doing all along.
And it’s important to remember the way Medicare gets cut if you don’t raise the retirement age: by making it harder for seniors to get doctors’ appointments (by reducing reimbursement fees), and by attempting to ration care (through IPAB and other instruments). Those changes actually do affect lower-income seniors, unlike raising the retirement age.
APOTHEFACT CONCLUSION: Raising Medicare’s retirement age increases the progressivity of government health benefits, and protects minorities: the opposite of what opponents contend. Indeed, reducing Medicare spending via Congress’ traditional rationing methods is far more harmful to low-income seniors.
Myth 2. Age-raising increases government health-care costs
The next argument—an especially creative one—is that raising Medicare’s eligibility age will actually increase Medicare’s costs, and also increase costs throughout the system.
Well, no. Put simplistically, raising Medicare’s retirement age will mean that the government will subsidize half of the retirees between 65 and 67, while leaving the wealthier half outside of the Medicare/Medicaid/Obamacare axis. The Congressional Budget Office projects that this would save $148 billion between 2012 and 2021, with even larger savings in future decades.
If you point this out, anti-age-raisers shift to a different argument: that while age-raising might reduce federal spending, it will increase overall health-care spending. The argument goes like this: adding 65-67 year olds to the exchanges will increase average premiums in the exchanges, because under Obamacare’s community rating provision, young people are forced to pay higher premiums to subsidize premiums for old people. In addition, subtracting 65-67 year olds from Medicare will increase average premiums in Medicare, because the Medicare insurance pool will now be older and sicker.
But both these arguments are flawed. As to the exchanges, it’s a bit rich for liberals to argue that raising the retirement age will modestly increase costs, when there are dozens of Obamacare provisions and regulations that dramatically drive up the cost of health insurance—by as much as 85 percent on average. If you want to prevent 65-67 year olds from modestly increasing premiums in the exchanges, all you have to do is repeal community rating. Or, you could repeal Obamacare’s tax on insurance premiums, which adds at least 3.5 percent to the cost of insurance.
As to Medicare, Medicare’s premiums are not determined organically by actuarial considerations, but are instead determined artificially by Congress. While the average per-person expenditure by the government might increase within Medicare if the younger retirees are taken out of the pool, overall Medicare spending would decrease dramatically, which is the important part. While Congress could easily choose to keep Medicare’s premiums constant, it’s important to keep in mind that those premiums are artificially low today.
The final cost-based argument the anti-age-raisers make is that Medicare spends less on health care than private insurance does on a per-person basis, so Medicare is more cost-efficient. No. Medicare artificially underpays hospitals to care for Medicare patients, which leads hospitals to charge private insurers more, a phenomenon known as cost-shifting. Furthermore, because Medicare’s co-pays and deductibles are so low, seniors have no incentive to avoid wasteful or excessive treatment. Medicare is the driver of exploding health costs, not the solution to them.
APOTHEFACT CONCLUSION: Raising Medicare’s retirement age will significantly reduce federal spending, which is the whole point. And it will also help reduce overall health spending, by reducing the scope of Medicare’s uniquely wasteful consumption of health-care services.
Myth 3. Age-raising would throw more seniors onto Medicaid
It’s true that raising Medicare’s retirement age would, by itself, mean that seniors whose income was too low to qualify for Obamacare’s exchanges—below 100 percent of the federal poverty level—would end up on Medicaid. This would, indeed, be a problem, given that Medicaid is terrible insurance that harms the poor at least as much as it helps them. In addition, such a change would expose state governments to higher costs, because states partially fund the Medicaid program.
But there’s an easy fix for this: write a provision into retirement-age change that allows all seniors above the age of 65, and under 400% of FPL, to qualify for the exchanges. That way, not one additional person has to be added to the Medicaid rolls. While this will slightly reduce the deficit savings from raising the retirement age, the trade-off in terms of policy is well worth it.
APOTHEFACT CONCLUSION: A naked increase of the retirement age would put more seniors on Medicaid. But allowing those seniors to enroll in the exchanges entirely solves that problem.
Reason 1,299,379 why Liberals and especially minority leader Nancy Pelosi know nothing about economics or how our economy works. Just yesterday I wrote “Last week it was “the US doesn’t have a spending problem” this week it’s “Tax Cuts Are Spending” and today Nancy Pelosi is demanding a $10.10 per hour minimum wage.
“This week, we saw something quite remarkable — the stock marking soaring to record heights,” she said, Raw Story reported. “At the same time, we see productivity keeping pact. But we don’t see income for America’s middle class rising. In fact, it’s been about the same as since the end of the Clinton years.”
So, she suggests, why not raise the current minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour — even more than the $9 per hour proposed by the president?
As a poverty program, raising the minimum wage is like killing flies with a shotgun, not very well targeted. About 60% of the officially poor don’t work, so the only thing raising the minimum wage does for them is to make it harder for them to get a job if they ever decide they want one. Workers must bring at least as much value to the firm as they are paid or the firm will fail and all jobs will be lost (no GM bailouts are available to our 6 million small employers that employ half of our private sector workforce). Raising the minimum wage raises the hurdle a worker must cross to justify being hired.
It is estimated that less than 15% of the total increase in wages resulting from an increase in the minimum will go to people below the poverty line and less than a third of those receiving the minimum wage are families below the poverty line. Most minimum wage workers are from above median income families. So, most of the people benefiting from the minimum wage are not the intended targets of the “anti-poverty” aspect of raising the minimum wage.
As a jobs program, raising the minimum wage is a real loser. Congress raised the minimum wage 10.6% in July, 2009 (know of anyone else getting a raise then?). In the ensuring 6 months, nearly 600,000 teen jobs disappeared, even with nearly 4% growth in the economy, this compared to a loss of 250,000 jobs in the first half of the year as GDP growth declined by 4% Why? When you raise the price of anything, people take less of it, including labor. The unemployment rate for teens remains unacceptably high. Workers of all ages that are relatively unskilled are adversely impacted by this policy.
Another argument in favor of the minimum wage is that it is a stimulus, introducing new income and spending into the market. But was there more income to spend in 2009 when nearly 600,000 teen jobs were lost? Common sense says that every dollar a minimum wage worker receives must have come out of somebody else’s pocket, either small business owners or their customers. The money for a higher minimum wage does not come from thin air.
Likewise, Mark Wilson’s essay The Negative Effects of Minimum Wage Laws written for the Cato institute also illustrates this point:
The federal government through the Department of Labor has imposed a minimum wage since 1938. Nearly all the state governments also impose minimum wages. These laws prevent employers from paying wages below a mandated level. While the aim is to help workers, decades of economic research show that minimum wages usually end up harming workers and the broader economy. Minimum wages particularly stifle job opportunities for low-skill workers, youth, and minorities, which are the groups that policymakers are often trying to help with these policies.
There is no “free lunch” when the government mandates a minimum wage. If the government requires that certain workers be paid higher wages, then businesses make adjustments to pay for the added costs, such as reducing hiring, cutting employee work hours, reducing benefits, and charging higher prices. Some policymakers may believe that companies simply absorb the costs of minimum wage increases through reduced profits, but that’s rarely the case. Instead, businesses rationally respond to such mandates by cutting employment and making other decisions to maintain their net earnings. These behavioral responses usually offset the positive labor market results that policymakers are hoping for.
This study reviews the economic models used to understand minimum wage laws and examines the empirical evidence. It describes why most of the academic evidence points to negative effects from minimum wages, and discusses why some studies may produce seemingly positive results.
Some federal and state policymakers are currently considering increases in minimum wages, but such policy changes would be particularly damaging in today’s sluggish economy. Instead, federal and state governments should focus on policies that generate faster economic growth, which would generate rising wages and more opportunities for all workers.
Supporters of minimum wages might believe that these laws mainly help to boost the incomes of full-time adult workers in low-income families, some of whom are supporting children. However, the data generally do not support that view. Most workers earning the minimum wage are young workers, part-time workers, or workers from non-poor families.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1.8 million paid-hourly employees were paid the federal minimum wage of $7.25 in 2010.5 These 1.8 million employees can be broken down into two broad groups:
- Roughly half (49.0 percent) are teenagers or young adults aged 24 or under. A large majority (62.2 percent) of this group live in families with incomes two or more times the official poverty level.6 Looking just at the families of teenaged minimum wage workers, the average income is almost $70,600, and only 16.8 percent are below the poverty line.7 Note that the federal minimum wage applies to workers of all ages.8
- The other half (51.0 percent) are aged 25 and up.9 More of these workers live in poor families (29.2 percent) or near the poverty level (46.2 percent had family incomes less than 1.5 times the poverty level).10However, even within this half of all minimum wage employees, 24.8 percent voluntarily work part-time, and just 34.3 percent are full-time full-year employees.11
Only 20.8 percent of all minimum wage workers are family heads or spouses working full time, 30.8 percent were children, and 32.2 percent are young Americans enrolled in school.12 The popular belief that minimum wage workers are poor adults (25 years old or older), working full time and trying to raise a family is largely untrue. Just 4.7 percent match that description.13 Indeed, many minimum wage workers live in families with incomes well above the poverty level.
Last week it was “the US doesn’t have a spending problem” this week it’s “Tax Cuts Are Spending”… as if you need any more proof that these people know exactly nothing about economics or how our economy works. Good Grief!!!
(CNSNews.com) – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) said today that the government must cut spending, and then explained that: “Tax cuts are spending.”
“Our whole budget is what $3.5 trillion,” Pelosi said at a Capitol Hill press conference. “So, when we talk about reducing spending, we certainly must, and we certainly have–$1.6 trillion in the previous Congress, $1.2 of it in the Budget Control Act.
“But spending is also related to tax cuts,” said Pelosi. Tax cuts are spending. Tax expenditures, they are called. Subsidies for big oil, subsidies to send jobs overseas, breaks to send jobs overseas, breaks for corporate jets. They are called tax expenditures. Spending money on tax breaks.
“And that’s the spending that we must curtail as well,” she said.
WASHINGTON — The House Republican and Democratic leaders generally get a fair amount of leeway in their remarks on the House floor, but Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) thought Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) stepped over the line when she thanked Rep. Chris Van Hollen for his work on the budget Tuesday.
Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the Budget Committee and a fellow member of Harris’ Maryland congressional delegation, had been trying to offer a Democratic plan to replace the sequestration budget cuts, to no avail.
When Pelosi, a former speaker of the House, thanked him for his work, Harris, a second-term tea party favorite who was presiding over the chamber, scolded her for turning to Van Hollen and using his name in a technical breach of decorum.
“The minority leader is reminded to address the remarks to the chair,” Harris said, prompting a chuckle of disbelief from Pelosi.
Once again the delusional former speaker of the house is back in front of the microphone blaming Republicans for any and all effect that sequestration may have on the populous. What the former speaker failed to say was the fact that the idea of sequestration originated in the white house as a gambit to force congress to act in their favor, that House Republicans have passed two bills that would have dealt with the draconian sequestration cuts, and that a 2% – 3% reduction on the rate of spending is not a cut!
Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi says Republicans are the ones to blame for pink slips scores of people will receive with automatic government spending cuts looming. She says women in particular will feel the sequestration impacts.
Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi says Republicans are the ones to blame for pink slips scores of people will receive with automatic government spending cuts looming. She says women in particular will feel the sequestration impacts.
By Donald Brumett Northport
Will Nancy Pelosi protect your family?
Dear Editor: I am proud to be a member of NRA, our protector of our Second Amendment. “Shall not be infringed,” this means can’t take away from. I believe in this and support it. The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, worked hard, above and beyond, to protect it and to protect your rights. Everything he’s been telling us is coming to pass. It protects us from invasions and tyrannical governments, the things (our) forefathers fought and died for.
Law enforcement is now telling citizens to buy guns, take safety courses and protect themselves and their families. Federal agencies protected by (President Barack) Obama put guns in the hands of drug cartels, and that got hundreds killed. If they think maybe someone is terrorist -affiliated, they are prone to drone strikes. And they want our guns? Go figure.
More than 6 million Jews would disagree, and so do I. They took away their guns. How would you feel not to be able to defend your little boy or girl. Hey, maybe Michael Bloomberg, Nancy Pelosi and Leonard Pitts Jr. will be there to protect you and your family. Maybe even Obama and the gun-banning politicians.
These are one proud American’s opinions. They kill your families, serve 10 years and they’re back on the streets, rehabilitated. That’s the problem, not guns.
In case you missed it, last week, because I sure did…
WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is not sure whether the public should be told when the federal government kills an American citizen.
“Maybe. It just depends,” she said in an interview with The Huffington Post this week, when asked whether the administration should acknowledge when it targets a U.S. citizen in a drone strike.
Pelosi disputed the assertion that Democrats are less critical of the drone program than they would have been if George W. Bush were still president, arguing, “Those opposed are pretty critical, and other people are just listening to see what this is and why this is necessary, because we’re in a different world.”
But she also hinted at another reason that the administration may be getting the benefit of the doubt from some lawmakers: Polls.
“It’s interesting how popular it is in the public,” she said, recalling that the same polling dynamic prevailed during the fight over warrantless wiretaps. “People just want to be protected. And I saw that when we were fighting them on surveillance, the domestic surveillance. People just want to be protected: ‘You go out there and do it. I’ll criticize you, but I want to be protected.’”
The Obama administration currently takes the position that it can essentially disappear U.S. citizens. It is never under any legal obligation to admit, even after the deed is done, that it has assassinated anyone.
Spending Daily | February 15, 2013
“Pelosi: Congressional pay cut undermines dignity of the job”
According to The Hill, “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that she opposes a cut in congressional pay because it would diminish the dignity of lawmakers’ jobs. … The comments were made in the context of the looming sequester, which would force across-the-board cuts affecting most federal offices, including Congress. With lawmakers nowhere near a deal to avert those cuts, federal agencies are bracing for ways to absorb them with minimum damage to programs and personnel. Pelosi, whose husband is a wealthy real-estate developer, was quick to note that a cut in her own pay would be far less significant than that for both staffers and less wealthy members of Congress.”
Obama in Palm Beach for Weekend
POLITICO reports, “When questioned by a reporter aboard Air Force One about the optics of President Obama vacationing in Palm Beach this weekend, White House principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said Obama deserves some time off. The president is going to enjoy the Presidents’ Day weekend with some friends,’ Earnest said. ‘As we’ve discussed the president of the United States is the president of the United States 24 hours a day and will fulfill his responsibilities as president, even while he’s getting some well-deserved down time with some friends this weekend. I don’t think the American people will begrudge him that.”
Postal Union Gave Millions to Democrats Prior to Saturday Cut
Bloomberg reports, “All but five of Congress’s 255 Democrats and independents received campaign donations from postal worker union groups in the past six years, raising the political risk of Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe’s move to end Saturday mail delivery. Political action committees for the seven postal unions contributed $9.6 million from 2007 to 2012 to current members of Congress, 91 percent of it to Democrats and two independents who caucus with them, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from the Federal Election Commission and the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group. Democrats control the U.S. Senate, which must agree to most of the changes Donahoe says are needed to save the Postal Service from insolvency. Many of his proposals are intended to reduce labor costs accounting for 80 percent of the service’s expenses. That puts Donahoe in conflict with post office unions, which would lose most of the estimated 22,500 jobs that would be cut if Saturday delivery ends, and have spent years making friends on Capitol Hill.”
Sequester Just Two Weeks Away, Looks Inevitable
The Hill reports, “The question in Washington is no longer whether the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester will be implemented: It’s when and even if the spending reductions will ever be shut off. The $85 billion in cuts looming on March 1 would run through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, leaving more than$900 billion in cuts for Congress and the White House to wrangle with over the next eight years. Pressure may intensify to pass sequester legislation in March as federal workers are furloughed and Pentagon and other government programs are cut. But the cuts seem also certain to begin rolling given the vast distance between Democrats and Republicans over how to avertthem. … ‘Read my lips: I am not interested in an eleventh-hour negotiation,’ McConnell told reporters Tuesday. He said it was pretty clear to him ‘that the sequester is going to go into effect.’ Obama urged Congress to deal with the sequester in his State of the Union address, but Republicans were unmoved, saying he has not put forward a credible plan that will attract bipartisan support.”
“Obama pushes preschool plan, won’t discuss cost”
The Associated Press reports, “Raising hopes among parents who want preschool for all, President Barack Obama on Thursday rolled out a plan to vastly expand government-funded early childhood while keeping the price tag a secret. … Setting up yet another clash with Republicans over spending and the proper scope of government, Obama in his State of the Union address proposed working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every American child. … The White House offered the first details about Obama’s plan Thursday, describing it as a ‘continuum of high-quality early learning for a child, beginning at birth and continuing to age 5.’ The government would fund public preschool for any 4-year-old whose family income is 200 percent or less of the federal poverty level — a more generous threshold than the current Head Start program, which generally serves kids from families below 130 percent of the poverty line. All 50 states and the federal government would chip in.”
Boehner Compares Obama to Santa Claus On Infrastructure
POLITICO reports, “Speaker John Boehner came down on President Barack Obama as lacking guts earlier this week, and on Thursday he came up with a new description: Santa Claus. The latest jab came as Boehner took the president to task for again promising to fix the nation’s crumbling roads, bridges and other infrastructure without saying where he would get the money. ‘Trying to find a funding source to repair the nation’s infrastructure is still a big goal of mine. And the president talked about infrastructure, but he didn’t talk about how to pay for it,’ Boehner told reporters Thursday morning. ‘It’s easy to go out there and be Santa Claus and talk about all these things you want to give away, but at some point, somebody’s got to pay the bill.’ The president used his State of the Union address to again call for more investment in infrastructure, a $40 billion Fix-It-First’ program and a ‘Partnership to Rebuild America’— proposals with few details yet and no clear mechanism for funding those plans.”
In ‘Spending Problem’ Debate, Denial Puts You at Odds with Most Americans
Sean Sullivan and Aaron Blake write in The Washington Post, “Ask any Republican about government spending, and you’re virtually assured of receiving the same reaction: It needs to be reined in — big time. Ask a Democrat, and the answer is increasingly difficult to predict. In the past week, leading Democrats have answered the question of whether Washington has a spending problem in conflicting ways, with at least two big names offering forceful arguments that Washington doesn’t have a spending problem. But doing so not only risks putting them at odds with the GOP, but with the majority of Americans, too.”
Senate Dems Issue Sequester Proposal
The New York Times reports, “Senate Democratic leaders reached agreement Thursday on a $110 billion mix of tax increases and spending cuts to head off automatic spending cuts through the end of the year. But with even some Democrats tepid on the proposal, the chances of a deal before the March 1 deadline have receded. The Democratic proposal would establish a 30-percent minimum tax rate on incomes over $1 million to raise about $54 billion over 10 years. It would raise $1 billion more by subjecting tar sands oil to a tax to pay for oil-spill cleanups and by ending a business tax deduction for the cost of moving equipment overseas.The remaining $55 billion would come from $27.5 billion in defense cuts from 2015 to 2021 and $27.5 billion in farm-subsidy cuts. … ‘This sequester was the president’s idea,’ Mr. Boehner said. ‘His party needs to follow through on their plans to replace it.’”
Are Sequester Crisis Scenarios Exaggerated?
Reuters reports, “Hundreds of thousands of people made homeless, long waits at airports and criminals going unpunished. Those were among the dire warnings from the Obama administration on Thursday of the consequences of automatic public spending cuts that are due to kick in next month. While the measures do indeed threaten jobs and the economic recovery, experts say government agencies are overplaying the effect of the $85 billion ‘sequestration’ cuts to jolt lawmakers into halting them. … The dire warnings of chaos on the domestic side may be more motivated by worries that the automatic cuts will hit economic growth, which is the top Democratic priority, said Ethan Siegal, who advises institutional investors on Washington politics. … He predicted that the sequester would be delayed again just before a March 27 deadline for new government funding legislation. ‘Government agencies are marvelous at massaging these things and moving money around.’”
Obama Supports Eliminating Penny
The Hill reports, “President Obama on Thursday said he supports eliminating pennies, but that it’s unlikely to happen because it’s so low on the list of congressional priorities. In a Google Plus ‘Hangout,’ Obama was asked why the U.S. Treasury continues to mint pennies even though the cost to mint them is more than they’re worth. ‘I got to tell you, I don’t know,’ Obama said. ‘It’s one of those things where people get attached emotionally to the way thingshave been.’ The president said the penny was a good metaphor for other inefficiencies in Washington that become institutionalized. ‘Any time we’re spending money on something people aren’t going to use, that’s something that should change,’ Obama added.”
Common Cents: A Vacation from My Problems
It’s difficult to break the gridlock in Washington. No one seems to be able to come to an agreement on anything. Take government spending, for example. Some deny the U.S. has a spending problem, and others are absolutely, positively sure the debt going to take us under, but there is one thing they can all agree on: It’s time for a week-long break. The sequester spending cuts will take effect on March 1, and uncertainty is high over what will happen. Is it really the best time for a vacation?
WHAT SPENDING PROBLEM?
President Obama: “We don’t have a spending problem.” (Stephen Moore, “The Education of John Boehner,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/6/13)
Rep. Nancy Pelosi: “[I]t is almost a false argument to say we have a spending problem, we have a budget deficit problem.” (Fox News Channel, “Fox News Sunday,” 2/10/13)
Sen. Tom Harkin: “I want to disagree with those who say we have a spending problem. Everyone keeps saying we have a spending problem. And when they talk about that, it’s like there’s an assumption that somehow we as a nation are broke.” (Tom Harkin, C-SPAN, 2/14/13)
Rep. Steny Hoyer: We Have A “Paying-For” Problem. “The country has a paying for-problem. We haven’t paid for what we bought. We haven’t paid for our tax cuts. We haven’t paid for the war. … If we don’t pay, we shouldn’t buy.” (“Dem Leader Refuses to Say We Have a Spending Problem—U.S. Has a ‘Paying-For Problem,” Fox News, 2/12/13)
Washington Post: “Obama: Job of debt reduction nearly done” (Lori Montgomery, “Obama: Job of debt reduction nearly done,” Washington Post, 2/11/13)
OH, WE DEFINITELY HAVE A SPENDING PROBLEM
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “Of course the president believes that we have a spending problem.” (Donovan Slack, “W.H.: We have a spending problem,” POLITICO, 2/11/13)
Rep. Paul Ryan: “It seems like they’re just trying to sweep our fiscal problems under the rug and call it a day, … We’ve spent years debating — inside groups, outside groups — talking about a debt crisis. And now they’re trying to suggest that the problem is nearly solved, and don’t worry about it.” (Karen Tumulty and Lori Montgomery, “Is the deficit losing its urgency?” Washington Post, 2/13/13)
SO LET’S GO ON A WEEK-LONG VACATION
Congress Taking Week Off Before March 1 Sequester Deadline: “A divided Congress will take next week off and then return to a familiar conflict: a looming, self-inflicted budget deadline that threatens economic stability with no resolution in sight on how to resolve it.” (Susan Davis, “Congress has no clear path to avoid broad budget cuts,” USA Today, 2/13/13)
- FLASHBACK: Pelosi: No Vacation Until We Deal With Sequester: “The House should not recess and Members of Congress should not go home until we finish our work, reach an agreement, and avert this crisis.” (Igor Bobic, “Pelosi To Boehner: No Recess Until We Replace Sequester,” Talking Points Memo, 2/11/13)
Obama Off To Palm Beach. “President Obama will be enjoying a little R and R — and no doubt some golf — this weekend during a vacation in West Palm Beach.” (Donovan Slack, “Obama to vacation in Palm Beach,” POLITICO, 2/13/13)