If nothing is done, the sequestration cuts will take place in less than a month and roughly half the cuts come from the military. House Republicans want to cut Medicare and Social Security instead to pay for stopping the sequestration cuts. From Politico:
GOP policy prescriptions to replace the massive spending cuts currently include: changing the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67, which GOP aides say would raise $110 billion, and changes to Medicare premiums, which would raise $35 billion. Both of those reforms would be tough for Democrats to stomach separate from a grand deficit bargain.
Republicans are also open to reforming federal pension programs, which they estimate would save from $10 billion to $35 billion. That’s another thing Beltway-area Democrats don’t like too much.
Then there’s the chained or superlative consumer price index, which involves changing the formula by which the government calculates government benefits, which could save an estimated hundreds of billions of dollars.
Basically, the Republican plan is to take from retirees to give that money to the military. Even though we already spend more on our military than most of the top countries combined.
Unfortunately, President Obama’s alternative plan is to use a “balanced mix” of new revenue and entitlement cuts to get money to funnel to our bloated military.
Even though allowing massive austerity to happen during a weak economy is a terrible idea, our political leadership’s plans to “cure” the problem appear to be even worse then the disease. Letting the sequester happen still looks like the least horrible of the terrible options currently being debated.
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