Jun 28, 2011 | By Marge Clark, BVM
Today, President Obama and Vice President Biden will meet separately with Senators Reid and McConnell. Over the last several weeks, the Biden group has made progress in coming to a plan to avoid defaulting on the debt. But all the compromises have been in increasing the number and amount of areas to be cut. Representatives Eric Cantor and Jon Kyle walked out of the negotiations.
Representative Boehner and other Republican members of the House have dug in their heels:
$2 trillion as a down payment on debt reduction is being discussed. Perhaps as much as $400 billion might be taken from the military. If this is the end agreement, that would leave $1.6 trillion to come from cuts to discretionary programs, Medicaid, Medicare, food assistance, elder care – and Social Security. There are no other places from which to cut.
No new taxes! That is the mantra. It is good to remember:
The Biden group has already agreed to reductions in funding to Medicare and to discretionary programs. However, there has been no give on the Republican side in terms of bringing in more revenue.
Expenditures include the billions of dollars in tax loopholes used by corporations, SNAP, WIC and other nutrition benefits, Pell grants and education for special needs students, nursing home care for the elderly and infirm, and unemployment benefits for those whose jobs have disappeared.
If we as a nation succumb to a debt relief package without revenue increases, we need to be very certain we understand the pain this will cause to those already suffering.