skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

FirstEnergy first to abandon interim clean-energy goals for addressing climate change; the body of an 11-year-old Texas girl who disappeared on her way to school has been found in a river; and Indiana youth reported to be making progress despite challenges.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The U.S. rejects a U.N. resolution on Israel-Gaza ceasefire, but proposes a different one. Some Democrats vote against Biden to protest his policy on Gaza and a California woman is being held in Russia.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Drones over West Texas aim to improve rural healthcare, the Ogallala Aquifer, the backbone of High Plains agriculture, is slowly disappearing and federal money is headed to growers of wool and cotton.

Federal Budget Rules Could Bring Automatic SS, Medicare Cuts

play audio
Play

Monday, December 19, 2016   

RICHMOND, Va. — New budget rules proposed for Congress could bring deep, automatic cuts to benefit programs for seniors that had been exempt from those kinds of cuts until now.

House budget chair Tom Price, R-Ga., has said he would like to see reductions in Social Security and Medicare benefits. David Reich, senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said Price has proposed strict caps on all spending, that would kick in if the deficit goes up - even if it’s the result of tax cuts.

Reich said that, unlike past budget battles, it looks like Price wants Social Security and Medicare to be on the chopping block.

"What if Congress decides to enact large additional tax cuts? His document says we really shouldn't exempt anything,” Reich said.

Price opposes many kinds of federal spending and has said the government cannot afford its current programs. President-elect Donald Trump selected Price to be his Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Reich said Price's proposal strongly favors tax cuts - even to the extent of possibly cutting benefits for seniors to pay for them.

Medicare and Social Security are both popular programs with their own dedicated revenue streams. As a result, they have been largely exempt from recent congressional tax and spending fights. And Reich said that under the current "pay as you go" budget rules, Congress does not allow itself to increase spending or cut taxes without offsetting the cost.

But Price would break both precedents.

"In place of that, he has this whole series of restrictions on spending only,” Reich said. "None of them operate on the revenue side at all."

Trump has said he wants to cut corporate and individual taxes. Analysts have said his plan would increase the deficit while primarily benefiting the wealthy. Trump also has said he would oppose cuts to Social Security benefits.

But Reich said one problem with automatic reductions is that they bypass much of the normal debate.

"You wouldn't say, 'Well, this is how we want to change Medicare' or 'how we want to change Medicaid' or veterans benefits,” he said. “And indeed the limits could be set very low to try to force reductions."

It's unclear what will happen to Price's proposed legislation if he moves to the executive branch. Reich said that in any case, it will likely face opposition in the Senate.

More on Reich's assessment of Price's proposal is available here.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
The lands under consideration for the Sáttítla National Monument in the Medicine Lake Highlands are currently managed by the U.S. Forest Service. (Bob Wick)

Environment

play sound

Tribes in far northeastern California are pressing President Joe Biden to create a new national monument about 30 miles from Mount Shasta. The Pit …


Social Issues

play sound

Every state has been screening newborns for several decades, usually performing a heel-prick blood test, a hearing test and a heart check. Several …

Social Issues

play sound

Maine could become the first state in the nation to provide public funding to candidates seeking the office of district attorney. Lawmakers are …


Salmon populations have dwindled in the Northwest, hurting the orcas that rely on them for food. (Stanislav/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has decided to list Southern Resident orcas as an endangered species. With it comes guidelines for how the …

Social Issues

play sound

Student loan borrowers of all ages in Nevada and around the country have an opportunity to have their student loans canceled or the chance to receive …

Automotive manufacturer Ford estimates it will create 2,500 new American jobs through its EV production plant in Marshall. (sofirinaja/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Early voting for primaries in Michigan began this weekend. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., in a change from Democratic support, urged voters to block …

Health and Wellness

play sound

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, and young people often find it hard to navigate experiences of harm…

Environment

play sound

Indiana climate leaders gathered this month to share knowledge and create strategies to address the effects of climate change. Together, they are …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021