Even as President Obama and GOP House Speaker John Boehner debate how to avoid the coming so-called fiscal cliff, and whether to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, Democrats already are on record with $1.6 trillion in proposed federal spending cuts and have enacted entitlement reform through the landmark 2010 healthcare reform law, according to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.
“Where are the cuts? They’re in bills that you, Mr. Speaker, have voted for. Secondly, on the issue of the entitlement, with the Affordable Care Act and with legislation, and with suggestions, provisions in the President’s budget, it amounts to over $1 trillion in savings in Medicare, over $1 trillion in savings which have been redirected to prolonging the life of Medicare, making it stronger for nearly a decade which [increase] benefits for our seniors and those who depend on Medicare,” Pelosi says. “Not reducing, but increasing benefits. There’s been a massive misrepresentation about what that is, so I want to set the record straight.
“So, in terms of spending cuts, we’re on the record having voted for about $1.6 trillion. In terms of entitlement reform, over a trillion dollars already, and more savings to be gained in further discussions on the subject,” she adds.
The cuts Pelosi referred to were those approved last year as part of a budget deal to raise the federal debt ceiling.
In remarks Tuesday on the House floor, the California Democrat notes strong public support for Obama’s call for a tax increase on the top 2 percent of American taxpayers.
“Again, we’ve committed to the cuts, we’ve acted upon the entitlements, the President has more in his budget, all of this would be a down payment for as we go forward into the next session of Congress to talk about tax simplification and fairness, how we can perhaps lower rates while plugging up loopholes, and having a tax code that encourages growth in our economy. But that’s a longer discussion,” says Pelosi, a former House speaker. “As we address the issue of how we strengthen our entitlements, not by diminishing benefits, but by getting more for what we are spending. So, if it’s Social Security, any changes in Social Security should be left to strengthen Social Security. If it’s Medicare, any changes should be there to strengthen Medicare, not to underwrite and subsidize tax cuts for the wealthiest people in our country.”
YOU CAN WATCH VIDEO OF AN INTERVIEW WITH PELOSI TALKING ABOUT THE FISCAL CLIFF HERE: