He’s not saying it’ll be easy but at least one budget-watcher is holding out hope for a fiscal “grand bargain” between Democrats and Republicans.
“While things look bleak at the moment, there is still reason to hope that the compelling logic of a grand bargain that deals with appropriations, sequestration and fiscal sustainability will ultimately prevail,” wrote Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, on Tuesday.
Bixby points to meetings between President Barack Obama and a handful of Republican senators, even after the GOP poured cold water on Obama’s plan to use corporate tax reform to pay for jobs programs. And he believes that the looming dHere’s it’s worth quoting Bixby – who among other things has served as a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force – at length:
“The issues are so intertwined that a comprehensive grand bargain is still the best way to resolve them. Funding for fiscal year 2014 cannot be determined without deciding how to deal with sequestration. Altering sequestration to relieve the pressure on discretionary programs means finding other cuts in mandatory programs (entitlements) – a key Republican objective. But putting mandatory spending cuts in play means that Democrats will insist on new revenues as well.”
Back in May, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan flatly said he didn’t see a grand bargain happening. But Democrats and Republicans alike have been floating ideas about what they think should be in a budget deal. And that at least sets the stage for some kind of bargaining.