This deal clearly sucks, but when you have blue state Democrats like John Carney and Chris Coons saying, “OMGZ!!! THE DEBT!!! Medicaid is wrecking the country!!” – you lose a lot of your negotiating strength.
Politico is reporting that “top officials” involved in negotiations have said that “the countours of a deal” are taking shape.
Three big elements to the deal:
- $1.2 trillion in tax hikes—halfway between the $1.6 trillion sought by the president and the $800 billion that “Republicans say they could stomach.”
- $1.2 trillion in spending cuts to replace the sequester’s automatic cuts
- At least $400 billion in entitlement cuts, primarily to Medicare—including means testing and raising the retirement age starting in 10 to 20 years. (The report doesn’t say whether these would be part of the $1.2 trillion in spending cuts.)