Guess what’s coming…

11 Jun

Budget-Deficit-sizedWorried about the government snooping in to your phone calls?

Since you can’t do much about it now, you should worry about this more.

The deadline’s approaching for another potential debt default or government shutdown this fall.

Three months after the White House started tentative talks with Senate Republicans, the two sides have yet to even agree on the scope of the spending or deficit problems — let alone what’s needed to solve it.

Sound like the same old song?

Private meetings last week showed how apart everyone is.

All this points out the growing expectations the two sides won’t reach a budget agreement this year – again.

Get ready for a rerun of the fiscal crisis atmosphere that dominated the last two years.

House Republicans and Senate Democrats are more than $90 billion apart on 2014 discretionary spending, and at this time, there’s no prospects for a House-Senate conference on the budget.

What both side are doing is getting ready for a continuing resolution to fund the government into next year.

Usually, government looks ahead ten years in budget planning.

But Senate Republicans are looking thirty years ahead.

Anyone that’s worked in government will tell you planning for a decade down the road is never accurate.

Trying to budget thirty years out is just plain dumb.

The other thing is no one is going to solve the fiscal problems until they define the problems.

That hasn’t been done with both sides arguing ideology and not realism.

Common sense says it’s pointless to talk about solutions until everyone agrees on the extent of the problems.

The story out of Washington is, during those talks, Republicans demanded that any hike in the debt ceiling be tied to an overhaul of the federal Tax Code as well as – this is a recording – major changes to entitlement programs.

As normal, Republicans are also ruling out any tax increases as part of a budget deal.

As for the Democrats, more of the same: tax reform should be held off until the debt limit is increased and that the national borrowing limit should be increased without preconditions.

There’s more to this too.

Right now a small group of Senate Republicans seems to have replaced House Speaker John Boehner as the group that could cut a deficit-cutting deal with the White House.

Still, the two sides are nowhere near that point.

In fact, they still haven’t agreed on what are the drivers of the deficit.

We’re back where we started.

Until you identify the problem, there’s no hope of fixing it.

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