But time running out may not be as bad as it sounds…because the clock may force Congress and the White House to take action they won't take on their own.
After a weekend of meetings between top legislators and the president produced nothing that could get enough votes to pass in Congress, Republicans and Democrats today proposed separate plans to break the deficit deadlock.
The latest from the leader of the Democrat controlled Senate is a $2.7 trillion package that would not raise taxes, and would last through the 2012 election.
"Our plan is really simple. Dollar to dollar savings, no revenue, that’s what they said they wanted. These are the things they supported in the past. So, this is no game playing- this isn't a game of chicken, this is a game of reality," Majority Leader, Senator Harry Reid said.
But the Speaker of the Republican controlled House is calling for $1.2 trillion in budget cuts, no new taxes, and a two-step process, which would require another vote before the election.
"The ultimate enforcement mechanism for the American people on an out of control government is to have a balanced budget. It’s time for America to help us to make that a reality," House Speaker John Boehner said.
The president continues to push for a deal that increases tax revenues and goes beyond the next election. At this point, it's not certain he'll get either.
He's also cancelling and postponing several fundraisers so he can be near the action in Washington. But he could probably go, because Washington can still delay for days, even if the president already believed last week when he said:
"We have now run out of time.”
Thanks to the way Washington works, it's still too soon to be frightened.
With everyone there playing the blame game, no one wants to concede anything, before they must. So as the clock works against Washington, it's working for us! Because if our elected leaders don't figure this out, many of them will be voted out.
I’m Andy Hiller, that’s my instinct.
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