President Barack Obama in his State of the Union speech reiterated his call for a bipartisan agreement that would stabilize the debt and end a period where fiscal policy has lurched from crisis to crisis.
This ambition is broadly shared, but profound disagreements remain over the composition of measures to address debt and growth. Democrats insist on a “balanced package” that includes substantial new revenue and modest changes to entitlements. Republicans see the fiscal problem primarily as a spending problem and want deep and broad-ranging cuts. Prospects for a major agreement, a “grand bargain,” seem as remote as ever.
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