“Economic Repression”: Obama, Democrats offer Deeper Social Cuts in New Budget Talks…(The Riots Will Be Massive!!)
By Barry Grey
October 19, 2013
As informal budget talks between congressional Democrats and Republicans got underway in the wake of the 16-day federal government shutdown, the White House and Democratic leaders signaled their readiness to agree to sharper cuts in basic social programs.
Leaders of the House-Senate budget conference committee met Thursday, with the top Democratic negotiator, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray of Washington State, repeating the Democratic mantra of bipartisan compromise. Saying “All issues are on the table,” she declared, “We believe there is common ground.”
Her counterpart, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, made clear that the goal of the talks would be more sweeping austerity measures. The aim of the conference committee, he said, was “to get our debt under control, to do smart deficit reduction.”
Ryan voted against the bill passed late Wednesday to extend funding for the government through January 15 and raise the national debt ceiling through February 7, denouncing it for failing to include spending cuts.
Despite opinion polls showing popular support for the Republican Party at its lowest point in decades due to its aggressive role in precipitating the shutdown, the Democrats agreed to Republican demands that spending caps on federal agencies mandated by the across-the-board “sequester” process remain in place during the temporary funding extension. As a result, the sequester will automatically continue, imposing even deeper cuts in 2014 than the $85 billion slashed this year, should the conference committee fail to agree on a budget blueprint by December 13.
In a White House statement Thursday, President Obama made clear that he would push for new cuts in social programs, leading to major attacks on the core programs for retirees dating from the New Deal and the Great Society—Social Security and Medicare. “The key now is a budget that cuts out the things that we don’t need,” he said, adding, “The challenges we have right now are not short-term deficits; it’s the long-term obligations around things like Medicare and Social Security.”