No visible progress was made during deficit talks Sunday in which President Barack Obama failed to persuade House Republicans to support $4 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years.
It appears Obama wants a large-scale agreement—with cuts to Medicare and other entitlement programs—so he can claim responsibility for undoing years of deficit spending. It’s safe to assume Republicans want to deny him that distinction.
On the same day, Christine Lagarde, the new head of the International Monetary Fund, urged U.S. lawmakers to raise the debt ceiling before the deadline, warning that a default would increase international interest rates and cripple the global stock market. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner echoed her concern, saying that a failure to reach an agreement would carry grave consequences, especially for the 55 million Americans who rely on Social Security checks each month. —ARK
The New York Times:
President Obama tried on Sunday to revive the chances for a sweeping budget agreement to reduce the nation’s deficit and repair its perilous finances, but Congressional Republicans continued to balk, insisting on a more modest deal to avert a default on the national debt.
Mr. Obama, meeting with leaders from both parties at the White House, bluntly challenged Republicans a day after Speaker John A. Boehner pulled back from a far-reaching agreement aimed at saving as much as $4 trillion over 10 years, officials briefed on the negotiations said. The meeting ended after an hour and 15 minutes with little progress, but the two sides agreed to resume talking Monday, and every day after that, until a deal is done.
... Mr. Obama is pushing for a bigger deal on the argument that it will, paradoxically, be easier for Democrats and Republicans to sell to their rank and file, because they could present it as a historic effort to begin undoing years of deficit spending.
Flickr / SpeakerBoehner
Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama: not seeing eye to eye on taming the deficit.