White House Offers Republicans Deal For 80% Of Their Demands To Avoid Sequester; Republicans Refuse It

Ezra Klein, at The Washington Post writes:

As I understand it, the GOP has five basic goals in the budget talks: 1) Cut the deficit. 2) Cut entitlement spending. 3) Protect defense spending, and possibly even increase it. 4) Simplify the tax code by cleaning out deductions and loopholes. 5) Lower tax rates. The White House is willing to cut a deal with Republicans that will accomplish 1, 2, 3 and 4. But Republicans don’t want that deal. They’d prefer the sequester to that deal. That means they will get less on 1, basically nothing 2, 4, and 5, and they will actively hurt themselves on 3. So, rather than accomplishing four of their five goals, they’re accomplishing part of one. Some trade. Also, watch this bullshit:

Paul Ryan's Multiple Unicorns

Paul Krugman, writing about GOP Congressman Paul Ryan's proposed budget plan:

Notice the marked area at the bottom: Ryan is assuming that everything aside from health and SS can be squeezed from 12 percent of GDP now to 3 1/2 percent of GDP. That’s bigger than the assumed cut in health care spending relative to baseline; it accounts for all of the projected deficit reduction, since the alleged health savings are all used to finance tax cuts. And how is this supposed to be accomplished? Not explained. This isn’t a serious proposal; it’s a strange combination of cruelty and insanely wishful thinking.