The prospect of cutting Medicare benefits in a “fiscal cliff” deal has prompted an outcry from concerned liberals. But whether or not legislators actually end up raising the Medicare age or paring back Social Security payments, domestic benefits and services—ranging from veterans’ health care and low-income housing to Head Start programs—are going to get squeezed over the next 10 years.
Last year’s debt-ceiling agreement included $1.5 trillion in cuts to discretionary programs through 10-year spending caps that are already in effect. According to a new analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the domestic programs subject to the spending caps will face a $615 billion shortfall if they keep their benefits and services at 2012 levels. If such, they’ll be forced to scale back unless Congress decides otherwise—and right now, the Republicans want even less money spent on these domestic programs, not more…
It’s a good reminder of the trade-offs that we have already made in the name of deficit reduction, which have received little attention amid the hand-wringing over the fiscal cliff. And, as [The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’s Richard] Kogan points out, these domestic programs still remain vulnerable to further cutting.
[F]or those who still care about facts and reality, Romney really is lying. Obama has never apologized for America. The Republican knows this, but keeps repeating the claim anyway, hoping voters won’t know the difference.
And what about Obama not having visited Israel in his first term?
As we talked about in July, the attack at least has the benefit of being partially accurate — Obama visited Israel as a candidate, but has not been back during his first term. If Republicans choose to find that outrageous, their complaints are grounded in fact.
The problem, however, is the selective nature of their disgust. George W. Bush didn’t visit Israel at any point during his first term, and neither did Bill Clinton. Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush didn’t travel to Israel during their respective terms in office at all.
Is there any record of Romney ever condemning any of these other presidents for the same reason? Nope.
Shortly before Mitt Romney’s much-hyped (and ultimately underwhelming) foreign policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute, The New York Times reported that even Romney’s own advisors had no idea what the Republican nominee’s foreign policy would look like should he become Commander-in-Chief. His performance at the third and final presidential debate on Monday night at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, must have confirmed their doubts.
On issue after issue, Romney disavowed the same positions that he and his neoconservative advisors have embraced throughout the campaign. While he successfully distanced himself from the deeply unpopular foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration, he ultimately left voters with little notion of what he actually believes when it comes to international affairs.
Unlike the first two debates, Romney spent almost the entire night in Boca Raton agreeing with Obama. From the very first question — on Libya, the topic that Romney clumsily used in attempting to attack the president during the last debate — it was clear that he would not be playing offense. Although Romney repeatedly criticized the president’s supposed lack of leadership, he essentially endorsed the Obama administration’s policies on issue after issue.