Their Turn to Pay?

Clinton is tempted to cut entitlements, but he may shy away from the battle

As Bill Clinton is learning, there is no such thing as a painless presidential promise. In August, just minutes before the win-or-die budget vote in the House, Clinton cut a deal to gain the crucial support of freshman Pennsylvania Democrat Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky. The price seemed paltry: the President agreed to appear this week at an entitlements summit in her suburban Philadelphia district to discuss the role of government benefit programs in fueling the deficit.

Now it's payback time, and Clinton probably longs for the days when Presidents could buy congressional votes with old-fashioned pork. Entitlements are the true Nightmare Before Christmas,...

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