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Good Reads: So Western nations have failed to cut spending. What's next?

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“There could be a bit of a silver lining,” said Rosanne Altshuler, an economist at Rutgers University who served on President George W. Bush’s 2005 tax reform panel. “It forces us to come to terms with cuts in areas that have been difficult to touch — the military and Medicare. We may not like how the cuts are going to be done, but we better start dealing with the fact that cuts are going to have to be made.”

So why did the “super committee” fail? Ideology, according to the Washington Post.

Although Republicans offered to raise taxes by $300 billion over the next decade, they insisted on conditions that all but guaranteed that the wealthy would not be hit hard. And Democrats refused to agree to deep cuts in spending on health care for the poor and the elderly unless the rich were forced to make greater sacrifices.

If Congress is having trouble getting debt under control, it is largely because debt has become such a major part of the US economy, writes the Monitor’s Mark Trumbull.

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