No more sacred cows, Congress: Put everything on the budget-cuts table
Republicans, it's time to put defense spending on the table. Democrats, take down the walls around Social Security and Medicare.
Even defense spending, even tax expenditures. I did this opening segment of Tuesday’s PBS Newshour broadcast, with my 12-year-old son Johnny watching me in the makeup room and from the “green room”–which made it all the more special. One of my standard favorite lines I didn’t get to squeeze in about the politicians’ take on fiscal responsibility and reducing the deficit: “It seems like a good idea…until you get right down to it”–i.e., it’s always easier in abstract theory than in specific practice.Skip to next paragraph
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As both Jim Horney (of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities) and I emphasize in the interview, everything should be on the budget-cuts table, and in fact, many in Congress like to use that line. But then you listen more carefully and you find Republicans taking revenue increases and defense/national security cuts off the table, and Democrats taking most other types of spending off the table (whether for short-term or longer-term reasons), and you soon realize that what’s really left on the “bipartisan deficit-reduction table”–at least within the current Congress–is really close to nothing. And that’s a huge problem: the contrast between what non-politician budget experts from both the left and the right agree on, and what Congress can’t agree on.
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