Tags: corker | fiscal | cliff | deficit

Corker: Cliff Deal Won't Dent Deficit

Monday, 31 Dec 2012 12:28 PM

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Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., thinks Democrats and Republicans will be able to hash out an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff, but he doesn’t believe that accord will have much impact on the budget deficit.

“Whatever happens today is really inconsequential,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Monday, referring to negotiations about the cliff. “It really doesn’t matter. It’s going to happen. We will have a solution.”

Later he told Politico, “The solution that we’ll ultimately vote on isn’t going to have an impact on long-term deficits.”

The fact that a deal likely wouldn’t deal with entitlements would prevent it from doing much about the deficit, Corker says. He’s already begun to shift his focus to the debt ceiling issue. The debt limit will have to be raised early next year to keep the government from defaulting.

“I do hope that during this debt ceiling debate, we’ll actually get into the kind of entitlement reforms that our nation needs to solve its problems,” he told MSNBC. “This is a lot of fuss about nothing today, unless you make between $350,000 a year and $550,000. That’s all that’s being discussed.”

Corker’s optimism about a deal being reached apparently is shared by the stock market, which was slightly higher late Monday morning. “I think we will get a deal. How do we sort that out and the tightening effect on the economy, that will be what the market responds to after the deal,” Walter Hellwig, a money manager at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Ala., told Bloomberg.

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