Efforts to close the budget gap have been stymied by Republicans' refusal to accept new tax increases and Democrats' insistence that any spending cuts be matched by tax increases. Democrats are also reluctant to shrink spending on popular entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security.In August 2011, President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans agreed to a setup that was supposed to force a compromise. If they couldn't reach a deal by Jan. 1, 2013 â¿¿ a deadline later extended to March 1 â¿¿ automatic spending cuts would kick in. The thinking: The cuts would be so painful to both sides that they'd come to an agreement. The ax would fall equally on a wide range of domestic programs the Democrats support â¿¿ from preschool programs for poor children to environmental protection â¿¿ and on defense spending that Republicans support.
How To Fix US Debt Without Hurting Fragile Economy
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