At the Gridiron Dinner that was held Saturday night at the Washington Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC, President Obama was the featured speaker and he poked fun at himself, the "sequester" and others. "Before I begin, I know some of you have noticed that I'm dressed a little differently from the other gentlemen. Because of sequester, they cut my tails. My joke writers have been placed on furlough."
But the "sequester" is no joke, as the President deals with the crisis.
It is a popular thing for Republicans in Washington to say that President Obama has no plan. That notion flies in the face of the facts, as it has been posted on th White House website for several weeks. President Obama has a plan on the table that not only reduces another $1.5 trillion dollars, which is in addition to the $2.5 trillion dollars already enacted.
A look at what has already been done is useful. The President has signed into law reductions that will results in $2.5 trillion in savings. $1.4 trillion of that is in discretionary spending cuts. $600 billion is in new revenues when the Bush-era tax cuts were repealed, taxing the higher income segment of the population. Another $500 billion is in interest savings, totaling a savings of $2.5 trillion. This brings domestic discretionary spending to its lowest level as a share of the economy since the Eisenhower era, which is the fastest pace of deficit reduction at anytime in American history other than the demobilization from World War II.
There is a specific plan to do more. President Obama's proposal not only resolves the sequester, but in combination with previous cuts, reduces the deficit by over $4 trillion dollars in a balanced way- by cutting spending, finding savings in entitlement programs and asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share.
The other night, in fact, President Obama had dinner in Washington with 12 Republican Senators in the Washington version of "Guess who's coming to dinner," as reported by the National White House Examiner.
The takeaway from that dinner meeting, according to The Hill, is the prospect of a "grand bargain." Politico reports that a "grand bargain" is back on the table, raising revenues coupled with a comprehensive agreement to overhaul the Internal Revenue Tax Code and entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare.
The prospect of this "grand bargain" grows by the day.
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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African-American studies, published by The Elevator Group Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books. John has volunteered for many political campaigns.