Monday, August 1, 2011

Deal

A deal may almost be brokered. AP has the details:

The plan calls for spending cuts and increased borrowing authority for the Treasury in two stages.

In the first, passage of the legislation would trigger more than $900 billion in spending cuts over a decade as well as a $900 billion increase in the government's borrowing authority.

The spending cuts would come from hundreds of federal programs across the face of government - accounts that Obama said would be left with the lowest levels of spending as a percentage of the overall economy in more than a half-century.

The increased borrowing authority includes $400 billion that would take effect immediately, and $500 billion that would be permitted after Congress had a chance to block it.

In the second stage, a newly created joint committee of Congress would be charged with recommending $1.5 trillion in deficit reductions by the end of November that would be put to a vote in Congress by year's end. The cuts could come from benefit programs such as Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid as well as from an overhaul of the tax code.

The committee proposals could trigger a debt limit increase of as much as $1.5 trillion, if approved by Congress. But if they do not materialize, automatic spending cuts would be applied across government to trim spending by $1.2 trillion.

Yuval Levin has some worthwhile reflections on the "trigger" for the committee

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