Oct 07 2013

Government Shutdown Continues As GOP Sets Sights on Social Security and Medicare

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

One response so far

One Response to “Government Shutdown Continues As GOP Sets Sights on Social Security and Medicare”

  1. Manuel Fernandezon 08 Oct 2013 at 8:14 am

    Social Security and Medicare will stay solvent until 2090 without increasing taxes. Benefits will be increased, taxes will be lowered and costs to beneficiaries will be lowered. Deficit spending will be cut by $7.7 trillion thru 2033. Thus the future increase in the Federal Debt will be lowered by this $7.7 trillion thru 2033. The GOP thus has a deal they can win on and show that they serve the country and its people. Go to http://voices.yahoo.com and search for “Saving Social Security and Medicare” by David Dow. This will eliminate the government shutdown and resolve the Debt Ceiling crisis. Obama, the Democrats and the people will accept this deal if Boehner and the Republicans agree to offer this deal. No one will see this as a hostage offering or a loss in principle by either party. More importantly, it will show that the government can work. It will also eliminate the privatization of these programs for the sole benefit of the special interests.