Skip to comments.Senate Democrats divided over cuts to benefit programs, raising roadblock to any fiscal deal
Posted on 11/28/2012 3:18:13 AM PST by tobyhill
Deep divisions among Senate Democrats over whether cuts to popular benefit programs like Medicare and Medicaid should be part of a plan to slow the government's mushrooming debt pose a big obstacle to a deal for avoiding a potentially economy-crushing "fiscal cliff," even if Republicans agree to raise taxes.
Much of the focus during negotiations seeking an alternative to $671 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts beginning in January has centered on whether Republicans would agree to raising taxes on the wealthy. President Barack Obama has insisted repeatedly that tax increases on the wealthy must be part of any deal, even as White House officials concede that government benefit programs will have to be in the package too.
"It is the president's position that when we're talking about a broad, balanced approach to dealing with our fiscal challenges, that that includes dealing with entitlements," White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday.
But even if GOP lawmakers agree to raise taxes, there is no guarantee Democrats can come up with enough votes in the Senate to cut benefit programs as Republicans are demanding.
"I hope not if it means Social Security or Medicare benefit cuts," said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.
(Excerpt) Read more at startribune.com ...
X out Obamacare; it would be no cut, just no implementation.
When add in welfare programs such as food stamps, AFDC, Section 8, energy assistance, unemployment, WIC, and the other 65 or so direct give away programs, entitlement spending grows to over 70% of all spending.
Percentage on the debt is now at 5 or 6%, and if interest rates go up, things will go downhill fast.
Defense is said to be about 16 or 17% of the budget, but there are tons of programs that are not defense related that Congress piles into the Defense Appropriations Bills because they know they get passed (i.e. AIDS research, etc).
So here we are - the Democrats and Obama have given the shaft to veterans and Federal employees (pay freezes, no COLAs, thousands of jobs cut, increase in health and pension payments, tripling of TRICARE for veterans, etc.
The the entitlement crowd, which dwarfs ALL other spending gets a free pass.
In Bath House Barry's world, wounded veterans are "slackers" and the EBT crowd is "getting their fair share."
An ironclad guaranteed list of WELFARE HAND-OUT CUTS before even a single tax increase is considered is a must...but then again, all we have is Balless Boehner.
I see in the local news that Washtenaw county Michigan (Ann Arbor) just got some $300,000 from the feds for a walking trail.
Its time to face facts, if they can’t cut piddly little crap like that, they aren’t going to cut the big ones.
Put Greta in charge of waste & fraud...she’ll save gazillions!
The Senate ‘Rats are divided about doing even the basic stuff like actually passing a budget.
It all doesn’t matter. This entire thing is setup just like every other big budget fight or “showdown” the R’s and D’s get into up there.
The media will declare the GOP as the bad guys, “favoring the rich” for refusing to cave in to Dem demands and tax all income over $1 million at 100%, or something equally crazy.
The narrative is set, and the template is already in place. The Dems and their friends in the media but only have to implement it.....
Yes . . . the narrative . . .increase taxes, increase spending, borrow more $, demonize Republicans, . . . repeat next year
“There is no other way.”
Yes there is! Let’s just let the Congress fail to deal with “the fiscal cliff,” go over it, and let whatever happens, happen!
That is a given... it is the only way unless we let the entire system crash... and I am good with that. I want to see these welfare kings and queens eating out of garbage cans and worse.
Or you could get rid of those who vote for them. We could do that by seceeding.