Wednesday, February 16, 2011



"The White House has already opened back-channel conversations to test Republicans’ willingness to negotiate about the soaring costs of Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security’s long-range solvency and an income-tax code riddled with more than $1 trillion a year worth of loopholes and tax breaks."

Medicare Outlook Improved Substantially

Elizabeth Drew's latest New York Review of Books piece is the familiar recapitulation of recent political developments for NYRB subscribers who don't follow the news. But then, 4,500 words into a nearly 5,000 word piece, there's this bombshell:

But despite all the confrontational rhetoric between the two parties about budget priorities, the White House and Republican congressional leaders, in private talks, have agreed on the need to try to reach a bipartisan “grand bargain” over the budget—a sweeping deal that could include entitlements and tax reforms as well as budget reduction. A Senate Republican leadership aide confirmed this, saying, “In fact, for anything to happen, it will require such a White House/congressional leadership bargain.” The preferred idea is that, just as they did late last year on the tax bill, they would reach an agreement and then unveil it to the public.

Oh, I say and I say it again, ya been had! Ya been took! Ya been hoodwinked! Bamboozled! Led astray! Run amok!

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