Friday, November 30, 2012

A billion here, a billion there; pretty soon we're talking about real money

Obama seeks Aug. 1 deadline for tax reform

By Zachary A. Goldfarb, Rosalind Helderman and Lori Montgomery, WashPost, Updated: Friday, November 30, 4:49 PM

President Obama is seeking an Aug. 1 deadline for overhauling the tax code and making changes to expensive federal health programs, the final pieces of what the administration conceives as a far-reaching plan to rein in the national debt, senior administration officials said Friday.

The proposed deadline was included in a plan Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner delivered to Capitol Hill on Thursday as Obama’s opening bid in talks with congressional Republicans to avert the year-end “fiscal cliff.”

That plan generally mirrors previous deficit-reduction plans Obama has submitted to Congress. In all, it would reduce borrowing over the next decade by $4.5 trillion, officials said. However, Obama is proposing to dedicate about $200 billion of those savings to new measures to boost the sluggish economy, including additional unemployment benefits and extension of a temporary payroll tax cut for most workers.

The overall figure includes about $1.2 trillion in savings already in force as part of previous spending agreements with the Republican House. The White House proposes to raise $1.6 trillion in fresh revenue, with about $1 trillion coming in January, with the expiration of the George W. Bush tax cuts for high earners.

(More here.)

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