In an effort to avert the “fiscal cliff” without hurting our economy, Republicans have offered to accept new revenue demanded by Democrats if it comes from tax reform and is tied to needed spending cuts. But an increasing number of Democrats seem uninterested in working together, resisting sensible spending cuts or threatening to drive us off the cliff altogether. And people are starting to notice:
- “Democrats, meanwhile, are sounding more and more maximalist in resisting spending cuts,” says the Washington Post. “Many insist that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and education — pretty much everything except the Pentagon — are untouchable. … Since 60 percent of the federal budget goes to entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, there’s no way to achieve balance without slowing the rate of increase of those programs.”
- USA Today slammed Democrats’ “destructive refusal to trim unsustainable benefit programs,” and said they are “fudging the issue” to avoid making needed spending cuts and reforms.
- There are “deep divisions among Senate Democrats over” needed spending cuts “even as White House officials concede that government benefit programs will have to be” part of an agreement to avert the fiscal cliff, says the Associated Press.
- “Senate Democratic leaders signaled Tuesday they would not agree to any entitlement reforms,” reports The Hill. Politico says this “posturing could complicate efforts by the White House” to reach an agreement that averts the fiscal cliff without hurting our economy.
The Democrats demanding tax hikes but no spending cuts are running against the desires of the American people – recent surveys show a majority of Americans back Republicans’ balanced framework that would cut spending and close special-interest tax breaks. In one survey, 61 percent said closing loopholes and lowering rates would help raise more revenue than simply raising tax rates (28 percent).