Defense Spending and the Deficit Debate

By Jonathan Masters – Tax policy remains the crux of the deficit debate despite the specter of automatic cuts for defense. Most Republicans in both houses have signed a public pledge (PDF) to oppose raising taxes, and party leaders have dismissed a Democratic proposal that, although it would not affect the Pentagon, included billions in new taxes (Atlantic Wire). Democrats maintain that any cuts to entitlement programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, must be accompanied by tax increases. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi rejected a $3 trillion Republican counterproposal that did not meet this requirement. more>


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