The deficit showdown: Republicans (corporations) vs. the American people

by Ben Hoffman

In an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday, Boehner conceded that Congress will need to eventually raise the debt ceiling, which currently stands at $14.29 trillion. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner wrote in a letter to Congress earlier this month that the nation will reach its debt limit on May 16, but can rely on “extraordinary measures” to prevent from defaulting on its loans until August. Geithner wrote that default by the U.S. “would have a catastrophic economic impact that would be felt by every American,” and other economists have said that failing to raise the debt ceiling would have a disastrous effect on the markets.

Despite these warnings, many members of Congress have said that they will not vote for a bill that raises the debt ceiling unless it is paired with other efforts to get the nation’s deficit under control, such as major spending cuts or changes to entitlement programs. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reiterated on Sunday that he sees the pending debt limit deadline as a “great opportunity” to talk about spending.

McConnell has said he will vote against any debt-limit deal if it does not include long-term cuts to entitlment programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

“Rather than thinking of this as a crisis, I think of this as an opportunity to come together,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” adding that he would not support tax increases as part of the deal.

Boehner has also ruled out tax increases as part of a deal for grappling with the long-term deficit, despite appeals by Democrats to use revenue-increasing measures to avoid some program cuts.

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Let’s see who gets the shaft this time. Cutting Medicare benefits would be political suicide for the Republicans since the vast majority of Americans like that program. Remember the Teabaggers screaming “KEEP THE GOVERNMENT’S HANDS OFF MY MEDICARE!!!”? And Obama isn’t going to sign any bill that cuts Medicaid.

So who will win this time? Chances are, it won’t be the American people.

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One Comment to “The deficit showdown: Republicans (corporations) vs. the American people”

  1. Exactly. Couldn’t agree with you more.

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