Tags: fiscal | cliff | budget | talks

Report: Budget Experts Call for Private Talks to End Fiscal Cliff

Monday, 03 Dec 2012 05:08 PM

By Todd Beamon

To avert an impending fiscal cliff, the White House and House Republicans need to get behind closed doors and negotiate a budget deal now, two budget experts said on Monday.

“They need to get off the Sunday shows,” former Clinton budget director Alice Rivlin said, The Hill reports.

Former New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici added, “They actually have to start negotiating . . . not have discussions on the tube.”

Domenici, a former GOP Senate Budget chairman, and Rivlin said leaders should begin private negotiations immediately. They both are members of the Bipartisan Policy Center.

On Sunday, for instance, Speaker John Boehner went on Fox News and essentially called the Obama administration a joke, while Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on other Sunday talk shows that the GOP needed to put forth its own offer.

“We perceive that the current negotiations are not going well,” Rivlin said, the Hill reports.

Rivlin and Domenici developed a proposal that neither Democrats nor Republicans like.

For example, the plan does not have the controversial sales tax, but it does include $1.5 trillion in new tax revenue, close to the $1.6 trillion that Boehner has attacked.

It does, however, recommend transforming Medicare into a competitive system, which has been endorsed by former vice presidential candidate and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.

Social Security reform would be included in the plan, versus under a separate negotiation, as the White House wants.

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