Competing Debt Plans Compared-What Do They Mean for Social Security and Medicare?

2011-07-26T09:04:00+00:00July 26th, 2011|Budget, entitlement reform, Medicare, Social Security|

The National Journal has a great breakdown of the key differences between Senator Reid’s Democratic Debt Plan in the Senate and Speaker Boehner’s GOP plan in the House.

Details of the Democratic Debt Proposal

by Dan Friedman

Updated: July 25, 2011 | 5:53 p.m.July 25, 2011 | 4:05 p.m.

The following are some details of the Democratic debt-ceiling plan offered on Monday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., according to a summary prepared by his office:

  • Cuts $1.2 trillion from discretionary spending through measures Democrats say were already agreed to by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, before he withdrew from negotiations with the White House.
  • Includes $100 billion in mandatory savings that will not impact Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. Savings would come from farm subsidies ($10-15 billion); reduced fraud and abuse in various mandatory programs ($40 billion); Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reforms ($30 billion); broadcast-spectrum sales and universal service fund reforms ($15 billion); and student-loan changes (no savings specified).
  • Assumes $1 trillion in savings from winding down wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Includes $400 billion in savings from reduced interest payments.
  • Creates a joint congressional committee, with 12 members, to recommend future deficit cuts by the end of 2011. The recomendations would receive an up-or-down Senate vote, with no filibusters or amendments allowed.

Details of the House Republican Debt Proposal

by Billy House

Updated: July 25, 2011 | 5:55 p.m.July 25, 2011 | 3:31 p.m.

Here are some key elements of the House Republicans’ two-step deficit-reduction plan:

  • Cuts and caps discretionary spending immediately, saving $1.2 trillion over 10 years (figure subject to Congressional Budget Office confirmation).
  • Raises the debt ceiling initially by up to $1 trillion.
  • Creates a Joint Committee of Congress required to report legislation that would produce a plan to reduce the deficit by at least $1.8 trillion over 10 years. Each chamber would consider the proposal in an up-or-down basis without any amendments; if the proposal is enacted, the president would be authorized to request a debt-limit increase of $1.5 trillion.
  • Imposes spending caps that would establish clear limits on future spending. Failure to remain below these caps would trigger automatic across-the-board cuts.
  • Requires the House and Senate vote on a balanced-budget amendment after October 1 and before the end of the year. It does not require that such a bill be forwarded to the states.
  • Includes no tax hikes.

Now is the time Americans of all ages MUST engage their members of Congress. Even if you’ve never written a letter or email, or made a phone call to Washington before–your representatives need to hear from you now. Holding vital safety net programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid hostage while preserving tax cuts for the rich is not fiscal responsibility.Use our Legislative Action Center to connect to your Congressional members. Use our sample letter or craft your own.TODAY is the day to take ACTION!