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Common Ground on Cutting Retirement?

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As President Obama and GOP leaders continue their Alphonse and Gaston routine for avoiding action to head off sequestration, at least one area of potential agreement has come into focus.

A White House blog post on Thursday emphasized that Obama’s proposal for the long-discussed “grand bargain” is “still on the table” for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to take up. In addition to revenue hikes, the 10-year, $1.8 trillion deficit reduction plan includes $200 billion “non-health mandatory savings.”

Among those cuts is $35 billion through “reforming federal retirement programs.”

Just the day before, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., had proposed “updating the federal employee retirement system to more closely track with the private sector,” to save $21 billion.

No matter how the stalemate is eventually resolved, it would seem, changes are in store for retirement benefits.

Charlie Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books and organizational media strategies.

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