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Archive for Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Obama’s debt-cutting plan to focus on reducing deficit in long term

April 12, 2011

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— President Barack Obama, plunging into the rancorous struggle over America’s mountainous debt, will draw sharp differences with Republicans on Wednesday about how to conquer trillions of dollars in spending while somehow working out a compromise to raise some taxes and trim a cherished program like Medicare.

Obama’s speech will set a new long-term deficit-reduction goal and establish a dramatically different vision from a major Republican proposal that aims to cut more than $5 trillion over the next decade, officials said Monday.

Details of Obama’s plan are being closely held so far, but the deficit-cutting target probably will fall between the $1.1 trillion he proposed in his 2012 budget proposal and the $4 trillion that a fiscal commission he appointed recommended in December.

The speech is intended as a declaration of Obama’s commitment to seriously tame the deficit while outlining his long-term budget principles — key components of his campaign for re-election in 2012. After gingerly avoiding any discussion until now of cuts in the government’s massive benefit programs for the elderly and poor, Obama will acknowledge a need to reduce spending on Medicare and Medicaid while at the same time tackling defense spending and calling for increased taxes on the wealthy, White House officials said.

If that sounds like a reprise of last week’s budget fight that barely avoided a government shutdown, it isn’t. The stakes are far higher, the political risks greater and the goals more ambitious. At issue are long-term budget deficits and a $14.3 trillion national debt that many say could threaten the nation’s economy.

The cuts accomplished last week were for $38.5 billion over the next six months; the cuts envisioned now are for trillions of dollars over the next 10 years.

Obama’s speech, to be delivered at George Washington University, comes as Congress readies for a fierce fight over raising the nation’s debt limit. Republicans have vowed to use that vote as leverage to extract greater budget discipline from the Democrats and the president.

Setting the terms of the debate and the likely brinkmanship to follow, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Monday: “What I’m saying is that we support a clean piece of legislation to raise the debt ceiling. ... We cannot play chicken with the economy in this way.”

The president’s speech also comes amid liberal apprehension over recent Obama spending concessions and a desire among some Democrats to make proposed GOP cuts in Medicare a 2012 election issue.

House Republicans, led by the chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan, last week unveiled a plan that would cut $5.8 trillion over 10 years with a major restructuring of the nation’s signature health care programs for the elderly and the poor. Meanwhile, six senators have formed a bipartisan group to work on their own plan to rein in long-term deficits by making changes to Medicare and Medicaid and examining a fundamental overhaul of the tax system that would yield additional revenue.

Obama is expected to concede a need for overhauling Medicare and Medicaid and to even make adjustments to Social Security, always considered politically risky territory. But he will distinguish his plan from the Republican budget, which would shrink Medicare by shifting the program to private insurers and send block grants to states to pay for Medicaid, the health care program for the poor.

Unlike the Republican plan, Obama is also expected to call for cuts in defense spending and for tax hikes, repeating his 2012 budget plan to increase Bush era tax rates for families making more than $250,000. Obama shelved that plan in a budget compromise with Republicans.

The Republican plan, on the other hand, would make the Bush-era tax cuts permanent.

Comments

Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

Entitlements

People pay for medicare insurance there is nothing free about it. How is that an entitlement?

People pay for Social Security Insurance. How is that an entitlement?

Let's talk entitlements:

A. Why not cut off tax dollar subsidies that go to many many wealthy corporations?

B. Why not curtail tax abatements,tax rebates,Tax Increment Financing and other tax dollar entitlement subsidies? http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/18/free_lunch_how_the_wealthiest_americans

http://www.uua.org/events/generalassembly/2008/commonthreads/115777.shtml

C. Of course tax cuts such as Bush Tax Cuts are entitlements: http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2001/0301miller.html

D. How about that automatic $4,000 increase in pay to legislators? Of course that is an entitlement.

People voted the democrats into control to avoid the reckless management of OUR tax dollars by republicans when Obama was elected president. Republicans have managed to control the democrats ever since. What happened?

Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

Talk about entitlements!

Is there an FBI investigation under way? A Grand Jury investigation underway?

Why you ask?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Health insurers have forced consumers to pay billions of dollars in medical bills that the insurers themselves should have paid, according to a report released yesterday by the staff of the Senate Commerce Committee.

At a committee hearing yesterday, three health-care specialists testified that insurers go to great lengths to avoid responsibility for sick people, use deliberately incomprehensible documents to mislead consumers about their benefits, and sell "junk" policies that do not cover needed care. Rockefeller said he was exploring "why consumers get such a raw deal from their insurance companies."

The star witness at the hearing was a former public relations executive for major health insurers whose testimony boiled down to this: Don't trust the insurers.

More on this story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

I can find no evidence of prosecution neither under Bush/Cheney when the embezzlement was taking place nor under the Obama admin as yet.

This must be an entitlement.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

I oppose Repubs who are doing everything possible to avoid discussing new industry and new jobs the real revenue generators. Don't let them get away with this. .
How about that automatic $4,000 increase in pay to legislators? Of course that is an entitlement. Put repubs on the defensive by eliminating this. Taxpayers simply dislike this pay increase.

Hey democrats let's play some hardball please.

Thank you...

jafs 3 years, 8 months ago

How long did you give Obama to fix things?

Flap Doodle 3 years, 8 months ago

Golly, haven't seen those links in almost a day, planet-killer merrill. When are you going to get some new material?

Getaroom 3 years, 8 months ago

Typical responses TS and Snap.. More of the same ol' drivel. Read some of Merrill's links for once. Are either of you yet receiving SS or Medicare? If you are getting those now and you want to help - opt out and if you aren't yet getting them - refuse them when the time comes.

Liberty275 3 years, 8 months ago

"read some of Merrill's links for once"

Please. Nothing is to be gained from reading opinion pieces on a blatantly anti-corporate website, an opinion piece on a pseudo-cult site and yet another opinion piece by a web site so unabashedly biased the cover of their latest printed leaflet is 2/3rds adorned with the words "tax the rich".

He might as well be posting deep links into the communist manifesto.

danmoore 3 years, 8 months ago

Start with the defense budget. Even in the rare instances of peacetime it is a huge economic drain. And what do we have to show for it? We are only the most despised nation on earth. Probably because the ideological reasons we’ve employed to justify our military conflicts is hypocritical and inconsistent with our own democratic principles. Nearly every military engagement since the end of WW2 has been a mistake. Perhaps the criteria for engaging in war should be based on whether we can we afford it. If we did we would not be in our current state of economic despair.

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