We’re still 28 days from deadline, but Lindsey Graham believes we’re not going to see much negotiation from Barack Obama and Democrats over the next four weeks. Proclaiming that Republicans “know we lost the election,” Graham says that John Boehner is willing to take political heat by putting revenue on the table. Without significant entitlement reform, though, it’s a waste of time. Graham compares the fiscal trajectory of the US to the now-familiar endgame in the Aegean:
“The president’s plan when it comes to entitlement reform is just, quite frankly a joke,” Graham continued. “So I don’t think they’re serious about finding a deal. John Boehner is serious about revenue. He’ll get a lot of pushback, but Republicans will rally around John Boehner about limiting deductions to raise somewhere between $700 and $800 billion in revenue. And I bet you this — if you took the president’s plan and put it on the floor of the House and the Senate, he would get very few votes for his plan.”
Entitlement reform, Graham said, is necessary to avert economic disaster in the U.S.
“We’re becoming Greece because of out-of-control entitlement spending. There’s no age adjustment for Medicare and Social Security. There is no means testing in the president’s plan. We should do what Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill did — adjust the age for retirements, a means test benefit, do it together, and Republicans should put revenues on the table. The president’s plan does nothing but damn us to becoming Greece.”
Meanwhile, Tom Cole accused Obama of treating Boehner like “Santa Claus”:
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) on Sunday panned the White House’s deficit proposal and said the administration was treating Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) like “Santa Claus” in the “fiscal cliff” talks.
“They must think that John Boehner is Santa Claus, because that’s a Christmas wish list, not a real offer,” Cole said on ABC’s “This Week.”
There is certainly a lot of wishful thinking going on in Washington the last couple of weeks. Graham’s doing the opposite, and unless the White House gets serious on cuts as well as tax hikes, his prediction will certainly come true.