How to avoid job-killing budget cuts

When it comes to the fiscal challenges facing our country, Republicans always insist on taking the hard road.

They nearly set off a recession by waiting until just after New Year’s Eve to agree to keep taxes from rising for millions of middle-class families. They caused the first credit downgrade in our country’s history by threatening a catastrophic default. And now they seem ready — even eager — to let painful automatic spending cuts take effect, which would result in the loss of at least a million jobs.

The good news is there’s an easier path.

Obama calls for short-term fix to imminent spending cuts

We can stop this self-inflicted wound to our economy — and we must — but we have to act fast.

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There are many common sense ways to reduce our deficit and avert the sequester, which would hit defense and domestic programs with $1.2 trillion in indiscriminate cuts over 10 years. While we have started discussing some of these ideas at the Senate Democratic retreat this week, here are few of mine:

— We should begin by applying the nearly $700 billion in savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan toward reducing the deficit and avoiding these automatic cuts.

— We should let Medicare negotiate drug prices, which would save as much as $200 billion over 10 years and lower drug costs for seniors.

— And we should crack down on tax fraud and corporate tax evasion, which could help save more than $100 billion a year.

(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com …

 

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