While President Obama is enjoying his European tour, which is essentially a PR trip to boost his chances of re-election next year, his administration is preparing to bear down hard on the most vulnerable in a bid to cut the country’s soaring national debt.
A group of Democrats and Republicans in the
They are hoping to agree on a tit-for-tat exchange that will allow an increase in the total debt limit of $14.3 trillion which has already been reached. This is equivalent to a whole year’s national output and is forecast to rise to $20 trillion.
Failure to increase the debt limit before its expiration date of August 2 would force the
Even with an unwarranted optimistic view of a growing economy, and divided over the use of tax increases, Democrats and Republicans agree that the
In their third round of talks, the group homed in on the Medicare and Medicaid government health plans for retirees and the poor, which represent nearly a quarter of all federal spending. These areas are expected to eat up a growing portion of the budget in coming decades as the population ages and medical costs continue to outstrip inflation.
But the coalition for capitalism has a big problem on its hands: the American people. About 80% of registered voters, including 70% of right-wing Tea Party supporters, strongly oppose cutting the programmes, according to surveys.
Medicaid is a federal-state partnership that mostly covers low-income children and parents and disabled people. It also covers two-thirds of nursing home residents. Only 13% of Americans say they would support major reductions in Medicaid spending and just 10% back major reductions in Medicare and social security.
"If you watch the debate about the deficit and entitlements, you would think that almost everyone has a problem with the Medicaid programme and wants to change it, or cut it – or both," Kaiser Family Foundation president and CEO Drew Altman said in a statement released with the poll. "The big surprise in this month’s tracking poll is that one group who does not want to cut Medicaid is the American people."
Meanwhile, the crisis continues to mount at state level as the recession cuts into revenues. Yesterday in
Throughout the world millions of ordinary people are clashing with governments intent on slashing spending and raising taxes to repay debts accumulated on the now failed expectations of future economic growth. But the only thing growing is the number of countries like
The slash and burn policies of Obama and the Coalition in