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Distrust among members of Congress complicates "cliff" talks [View All]

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-12 03:17 AM
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Distrust among members of Congress complicates "cliff" talks
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Analysis: Distrust among members of Congress complicates "cliff" talks

President Barack Obama and his Republican opponents in Congress enter a crucial week in the "fiscal cliff" impasse with more than just differences over taxes to bridge: Also in the way is pervasive mistrust among members of Congress that discourages big concessions for fear the other side won't reciprocate.

That distrust is fueling doubts among Republicans and Democrats about relying on the other side to live up to any bargains struck now on deficit reduction in the future, Capitol Hill aides say.

Because resolution of the immediate cliff issues depends in part on commitments by both sides to a framework for overhauling the tax code and entitlement programs over the next year, an atmosphere of disbelief could impede any agreement on the cliff.

Nearly everyone - from Obama to most of the 535 members of the House of Representatives and Senate - say they want to avoid the cliff's $600 billion in harmful tax hikes and spending cuts set to kick in automatically in the new year, and replace them with more reasoned savings.

It seems to me that Republicans have never been more like Democrats and vice versa. Yet, government has ground almost to a halt.

About the only thing both parties agree on is the one thing no one should feel comfortable with, namely that the needy, the elderly and the disabled should be the ones to sacrifice.

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