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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid