Oct 07 2013
The standoff between Republicans and Democrats over funding the government has entered its 6th day with still no end in sight. Republicans, seeming to have given up on defunding or delaying the Affordable Care Act, are now attempting to find a face-saving way out and are moving on to the debt ceiling battle. On a Sunday morning talk show, Speaker of the House, John Boehner yesterday made it clear that there was no way Republicans who dominate the House would pass what he called a “clean spending bill.”
Unless the Congress acts to raise the debt ceiling of the US, the government will default on its borrowing, threatening the specter of having its credit rating downgraded. In past years, raising the debt ceiling was a simple, non-contentious procedural vote, but under President Obama, Republicans have used it as an opportunity to squeeze spending cuts and other demands. Just this morning, and an apparent fig leaf offer, the White House announced that President Obama would be willing to accept a temporary increase rather than a permanent one.
Now, the GOP, giving up on the battle over Obamacare, is setting its sights on Medicare and Social Security – programs which are funded by tax payers for tax payers, but which are often referred to by lawmakers and major media as “entitlements.”
GUEST: Doug Henwood, political economist, author of “After the New Economy,” and editor of “Left Business Observer,” host of a Pacifica weekly program called Behind the News