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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora