It’s a fact that the only sector of government spending that rivals that of Medicare and Social Security is defense spending. Until now, it looked like cuts to Medicare were the only significant measures being considered by the GOP to decrease the deficit. But now some Republicans are looking to compromise; they would rather cut the Pentagon’s budget as part of a necessary debt-reduction package than increase revenue through taxes as Democrats suggested last week.
While the White House has suggested a plan that cuts $1 trillion from domestic agencies over the next decade and $300 billion more from security agencies, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has been pushing for $1.7 trillion in cuts, as well as a spending cap that would allow spending cuts to programs such as education, food safety, health research, and criminal justice when spending bills are drafted next spring.
Until this point, Republicans have suggested cuts only to social programs but never any plan that would cut military spending, or in any way punish big business or the wealthy through increased taxes, while Democrats have refused to agree on such measures without any cuts to the defense budget.
Today, President Obama meets with Senate leaders to restart budget talks after Republicans walked out on discussions led by Vice President Biden on Thursday, unwilling to even consider his proposed tax increases.