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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1587

Republican nominee Romney ready to take on President Obama

By Philip Fernando
Los Angeles, 25 April, (

Mitt_Romaney.jpgMitt Romney launched a blistering attack on President Obama stating that would be the economy that will decide who wins in November.

It seemed a taste if things to come during the next four months when the two combatants will ask for no quarter and none will be given. Romney had the nomination virtually in the bag finally winning all five primaries in New York, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.

Month of May would see presidential election stakes climb higher as behind the scene moves will determine final policy positions by the two sides on issues like taxes, government spending. The tempo would rise outstretching even the volatile confrontations witnessed during the primary season. As television pundits and rock stars start to command headlines in the presidential campaign, it is predictable that there would not be a dreary moment from now on.

US has an unenviable $1.2 trillion budget “sequester” that requires cutting defense and domestic spending, and the possible expiration of all of President George W. Bush’s tax cuts. These were considered taboo few months ago. Now everything is on the table. Pressure for Republicans and Democrats to strike a compromise is quite visible. Deal making is on.

First Obama Romney debate

Everyone is waiting for the first Obama-Romney debate where sparks are likely to fly.

Heated exchanges by the candidates and their allies between now and then are out for the time being. The crucial $4 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years is a compromise that would engage every inch of energy from both sides. So will exchanges on tax increases and Medicare and other entitlement programs aimed at getting the middleclass vote.

Republicans are bent on getting a chuck of the government debt slashed.

The Congress is in a lame duck session which means the 535 members of the House and about 33 senators are more attuned to what the electorate wants them to do.

President Obama, Speaker Boehner of the House and a bipartisan group of six senators sought unsuccessfully to strike a compromise this year and failed. Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, a member of the Finance Committee, recently urged fellow Republicans to accept Democrats’ demand for some tax increases, as long as Democrats accepted the longstanding argument by conservatives that revenue calculations account for at least some positive effect on economic growth from changes in the tax code.

The nifty gritty issues would come to the forefront. Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon joined chairman of the House Budget Committee, Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, in backing an overhaul of Medicare using “premium support” subsidies for beneficiaries who buy private insurance—something unthinkable few months ago. The plan would give beneficiaries the option of remaining in traditional Medicare, and it calls for larger subsidies than Ryan’s earlier Medicare proposal, which Obama skewered as a voucher plan to cut government spending at the expense of the elderly.

It was reported that a group of senators were talking about overhauling Medicare through a premium support. It is obvious that Obama and Romney will go at each other in the coming months about changes to medicare and other entitlement programs as well as how the tax rate of the millionaires would be raised or not. There seemed to be room for postelection maneuvering. Obama and Romney may actually realize it’s in their self-interest to till some of this ground. How rational the two would be depends on the way the election race shapes up in May and June. Everyone hoped that a little more rationality will prevail.

Scale of change in Obama care

Former Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, a Republican who served on the Budget Committee, said the “working center in the Senate” remained the foremost reason to expect a compromise. But he doubted that Obama would accept the scale of change in Medicare that Republicans would require to accept tax increases. But a compromise may eventually be crafted.

Even Congressman Ryan, who has absorbed more blows from Democrats over the budget than any other Republican, predicted, “We’ll get a deal in 2013 because we have to.” There are multiple factors that could come up and cause this to fall apart,” said MacGuineas of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “But there’s one factor that keeps it together: Everyone knows it has to happen.” Saving $5 trillion will be the magic number that will engage everyone whether Obama or Romney wins the White House.

The end of the main primary season seemed a dull affair as Romney had no problem in winning all five states. The long haul seemed over barring the remaining primary contests in preparation for the Republican Convention in Florida. President Obama campaigned in North Carolina where his party will hold the Convention in September.

- Asian Tribune –

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