If You Give Us A Tax Increase Today, We’d Be Glad To Pay You Off With Spending Cuts In The Future

Remember the spending cuts Democrats delivered after they cut a deal with Ronald Reagan to raise taxes? Oh yeah, those never happened. And remember the future military cuts that both parties agreed to as part of the debt ceiling stand-off? Yeah, those are never going to happen either.

So now that Republicans are negotiating with Democrats to raise taxes, what’s on the table? Naturally, it’s: tax increases now in return for cuts later.

Listen to top Democrats and Republicans talk on camera, and it sounds like they could not be further apart on a year-end tax-and-spending deal – a down payment on a $4 trillion grand bargain.

But behind the scenes, top officials who have been involved in the talks for many months say the contours of a deal – including the size of tax hikes and spending cuts it will most likely contain – are starting to take shape.

…Democrats want most Medicare and other entitlement savings to kick in between 10 and 20 years from now, which will make some Republicans choke. Democrats will point to the precedent set by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) of pushing most mandatory savings off until a decade from now.

“A lot of the big entitlement savings comes in the 10-20 year budget window, not the next 10 years,” a Democratic aide said. “Everybody will need to get on board understanding that. Paul Ryan and the Obama budget are the same on health cuts for the next 10 years.”

But that will most likely be the deal Republicans will be staring at: tax hikes now in exchange for Medicare changes way later. That will require some fancy footwork by Boehner to sell.

At this point, we should probably be grateful that the Democrats aren’t demanding tax increases in return for ocean front property in Nebraska because with the rubes we have running the GOP in DC, they’d have a good chance at pulling that off.

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