GOP, Dems look uneasily toward the next budget fights

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Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013 12:00 am

WASHINGTON — Congress has become the butt of late-night comedians for waiting until the last minute to do any work, yet its procrastination involves something more than fecklessness: The issue over which it keeps stumbling not only separates its two parties into warring camps, but also divides them internally.

At its core, the debate over the size of government and how to pay for it pits the interests of the huge baby boom generation, its members now mostly in their 50s and 60s, against the needs of the even larger cohort in their teens and 20s. With limited government money to spend, how much should go to paying medical bills for retirees versus subsidizing college loans, job training and health care for young families with children?

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