Economic Program | Memo

Now or Never: The Moment for Democrats to Get a Grand Bargain

by Jim Kessler, Gabe Horwitz and David Kendall

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What is the outcome Democrats want to achieve when the triple-witching hour occurs at the end of the year—as the Bush tax cuts expire, sequestration is scheduled to begin, and Congress is faced with another debt limit fight?

In this memo, we argue that this moment represents the best time for Democrats to set in motion—and ultimately achieve—a balanced grand bargain deal to be concluded sometime in 2013.

We argue that if handled correctly, Democrats can attain maximum leverage to forge a bipartisan deal that works both politically and substantively in order to restore fiscal order, keep the economy moving, and protect spending for those in need.

It is never going to be easy to strike a grand bargain, but it is hard to conceive of a better moment for Democrats to achieve the right kind of deal than the end of this year. This memo makes four arguments—essentially the 4 P’s—on politics, policy, priorities, and positioning. It explains why Democrats should seek a grand bargain and how to best achieve it in this now or never moment.

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