I'm not usually one to start off-topic threads (though I do participate in them)). However I think anyone who wants to know what's going on in Washington could benefit from reading a National Review Online article by Reihan Salam titled "The 2015 Budget Surplus Scenario".
And, while I'm at it, from Gene Steurele's testimony before the House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Social Security:
"Despite Social Security’s great success, its growth in lifetime benefits over time has been decreasingly targeted at its major goals. Even while programs for children and working families are being cut, combined lifetime benefits for couples turning 65 rise by an average of about $20,000 every year, so that couples in their mid-40s today are scheduled to get about $1.4 million in lifetime benefits, of which $700,000 is in Social Security.
Social Security has morphed into a middle-age retirement system. Typical couples are receiving close to three decades of benefits. Smaller and smaller shares of Social Security benefits are being devoted to people in their last years of life.
If people were to retire for the same number of years as they did when benefits were first paid in 1940, a person would on average retire at age 76 today rather than 64. Soon close to a third of adults will be on Social Security, retiring on average for a third of their adult lives.
While Social Security did a good job reducing poverty in its early years, it has made only modest progress recently, despite spending hundreds of billions of dollars more. The program discourages work among older Americans at the very time they have become a highly underused source of human capital in the economy.
The failure to provide equal justice permeates the system. It discriminates against single heads of household, spouses with relatively equal earnings, those who bear their children before age 40, long-term workers, and many others. At the same time, private retirement policy leaves most elderly households quite vulnerable."
Text is available on Steuerle's blog "The Government We Deserve".
What? No one wants to comment on some actual (public) honesty from a Republican?
Here's an excerpt:
"So imagine 2016 in the unlikely but not completely impossible event that a budget surplus does materialize. Republican elevation of the deficit issue will allow the Obama administration and its Democratic allies to declare “mission accomplished,” all without taking the blame for entitlement reform. The House-passed budget that promised a balanced budget within the ten-year budget window by making unrealistically deep cuts in Medicaid and domestic discretionary spending will continue to be hung around the necks of congressional Republicans. One hopes that one or several of the GOP presidential candidates will devise a more compelling economic message and reform agenda. But this will have to be done in a near-vacuum, as conservative lawmakers have been emphasizing deficit reduction above almost everything else."
In other words, Obama's agenda worked and the Republican agenda has been "oppose Obama" no matter what he does or what it takes, including completely unrealistic policy proposals. The success of the Obama presidency has left Republicans with no meaningful policy agenda.
"In other words, Obama's agenda worked and the Republican agenda has been "oppose Obama" no matter what he does or what it takes, including completely unrealistic policy proposals."
It is terrible that our poor picked upon leader can't handle it. He can't take people calling him names and actually expecting his to actually do something besides give campaign speeches. He can't lead, he can't negotiate and that is the fault of the Republican Party, it is a person shortcoming of our poor misused and abused President. He just isn't strong enough to overcome objections to his agenda. He can't figure out a way short of cheating to bring his brand of 'fairness' to the masses.
How about some 'quality' policy proposals from Obama or even Harry and Nancy? How about a proposal from them to reorganize the IRS, the tax code and Social programs? No they just keep giving until the giving hurts or gets them more voters from the groups getting all the goodies.
Obama and rows of minions can't get out their own way.
Yeah I read it but didn't think it was remarkable. A budget surplus when the president is doing everything possible to destroy our economy is so fanciful that interplanetary travel on a daily schedule by 2016 is more likely. You mention that the writer is a Republican. It might be more accurate to say he is a RINO. It is less relevant that he is Republican than that he is a spaced out Muslim who has left his Muslim roots and thinks of himself as a visitor from another planet.