When the sequester hit the federal budget seven days ago, the budget hawk on the right, Rep. Paul Ryan, started re-floating his 2012 budget plan as the solution. Opponents of the GOP budget will recall that Ryan is in favor of raising the age for Medicare eligibility and privatizing the health care program.
The White House is doing its part to fix the budget crisis by cancelling White House tours. Forbes suggests doing a better job reducing Medicare fraud and over-payments.
Meanwhile, an Associated Press news leak suggests that Ryan could be lunching at the White House with President Barack Obama today. The president is trying to build support for starting talks on a long-term deficit reduction deal.
Could the “deal” include portions of Ryan’s proposed plans for Medicare?
Obama is willing to consider cuts to the entitlement program to reduce the deficit, but would not agree to increase the Medicare eligibility age as part of a deficit reduction deal with Republicans, Press Secretary Jay Carney announced in a press conference on February 11, 2013.
Ryan previewed a long-term House budget plan this week to erase federal deficits without raising taxes. Obama has insisted that higher taxes be part of any measure. ‘‘Our goal is not to pass a budget and forget about it,’’ said Ryan. ‘‘Our goal is to get a down payment on this problem for America.’’
Although the House budget will not formally be unveiled until next Tuesday, the briefing by Ryan kicked off what could be a more orderly process of reviewing the nation’s fiscal picture after two years of unproductive clashes on the issue.
This year at least, March Madness has taken on a totally new meaning.