"The austerity crisis talks have hit a peculiar impasse. The problem isn't, as most analysts expected, taxes, where Republicans seem increasingly resigned to new revenue. It's Medicare. And the particular Medicare problem isn't that Democrats are refusing the GOP's proposed Medicare cuts. It's that Republicans are refusing to name their Medicare cuts.
Politico quotes a "top Democratic official" who paints the picture simply: "Rob Nabors [the White House negotiator], has been saying: 'This is what we want on revenues on the down payment. What's your guys' ask on the entitlement side?' And they keep looking back at us and saying: 'We want you to come up with that and pitch us.' That's not going to happen."
That's partly politics. If nothing else, Republicans are respectful of Medicare's political potency. Recall that a core Republican message in both the 2010 and 2012 elections was that Democrats, through Obamacare, were cutting Medicare too much. Republicans, already concerned about their brand, don't want to rebrand themselves as the party of Medicare cuts."*
Before the 2012 election season, Mitt Romney and Republicans denounced Obama, saying he would cut Medicare by too much! Now, during fiscal cliff negotiations, the GOP has changed its tune, saying Medicare MUST be cut down. Which is it, and why? Cenk Uygur, John Iadarola (Host, TYT University), and Mark Thompson (TV Host) break it down.
*Read more from Ezra Klein/ Washington Post:
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