News / USA

US Debt Negotiations Stumble Over Taxes

In this photo provided by CBS News, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner talks about the debt crisis on CBS's "Face the Nation" in Washington, July 10, 2011
In this photo provided by CBS News, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner talks about the debt crisis on CBS's "Face the Nation" in Washington, July 10, 2011
Michael Bowman

President Barack Obama Sunday is meeting again with U.S. congressional leaders in search of an elusive deal to slash the federal deficit and avoid default on America’s $14.3 trillion national debt. Negotiations reconvene one day after the top Republican lawmaker suggested an ambitious effort to trim future indebtedness by more than $4 trillion may be unworkable.

Late Saturday, House Speaker John Boehner confirmed what seemed obvious to many observers: negotiations over America’s runaway debt burden are at an impasse. At issue: whether a long-term deficit reduction deal should include additional revenue, or rely on federal spending cuts alone.

Boehner noted the White House’s insistence that tax hikes be included in a final package - a position rejected by Republicans. Given the disagreement, the speaker suggested aiming for a more modest deal based on spending cuts already identified in negotiations to date. Those spending cuts would form the basis for raising the federal borrowing limit, which the Obama administration says must be done by August 2 if the U.S. government is to remain solvent.

But administration officials insist a so-called “grand bargain” is still possible. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation television program.

“There has to be a deal. Failure is not an option,” he said.

President Obama’s Chief of Staff, Bill Daley, says the bigger the deal, the better off the nation will be.

“Four trillion dollars is the number that will make a serious dent on our deficit. It will send a statement to the world that the U.S. has gotten hold of their [its] fiscal problems," said Daley. "And it will give confidence to the American people that we can move forward to bring economic soundness.”

Daley spoke on ABC’s This Week program. The administration has long maintained it would consider painful spending cuts to federal programs long-championed by Democrats, as well as reforms to so-called entitlement programs that provide income and medical insurance for retirees, if Republicans would agree to end tax breaks for the wealthy and certain corporate interests.

Republicans reject any tax hikes unless overall tax rates are reduced, thereby making tax changes revenue-neutral. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared on Fox News Sunday.

“Everything they [administration officials] have told me and the speaker [John Boehner] is that, to get a big package, it would require big tax increases in the middle of an economic situation that is extraordinarily difficult with 9.2-percent unemployment," he said. "We [Republicans] think that is a terrible idea. It is a job-killer.”

As a general principle, few, if any, economists advocate higher taxes as a cure for economic weakness. But there is disagreement among economists on whether government spending should be slashed to trim the deficit at a time of low private sector demand for goods and services. On one point there is no disagreement: America’s debt burden is unsustainable and, if left unchecked, will bankrupt the nation.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid