Biden Vows to Find $1 Trillion in Budget Cuts

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


Democrats have put Republicans on the defensive by hammering them Medicare, and on Tuesday scored a major win with Democrat Kathy Hochul’s victory in New York’s special congressional election—a race that became a referendum on Rep. Paul Ryan’s controversial proposal. The win is likely to make Medicare even more central to the Democratic message in the 2012 elections.

As such, it’s clear that the Dems have ruled out any steep cuts to Medicare as part of a bigger deal over the budget and deficit. But top Democrats are still promising to strike a deal with Republicans that includes major spending reductions, even though there are increasingly fewer places where they could realistically extract the money.

Vice President Joe Biden is leading a bipartisan deficit reduction group on Capitol Hill that is pledging to make $1 trillion in cuts, Bloomberg reports. But where will the money come from? Medicare is unlikely to be part of the equation, and Senate Dems previously vowed against touching Social Security. Likewise, Bloomberg reports, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) reaffirmed the GOP’s position on Tuesday that “tax increases cannot pass the House.”

What’s left? Among other things, reductions in discretionary spending—i.e. funding for federal programs and agencies that Congress must approve each year—as well as other mandatory spending programs for low-income Americans, including Medicaid, food stamps, and welfare. In my latest story, I explain how the House GOP is moving full steam ahead to lay down the goalposts for these cuts. If Congress and the White House manage to move toward any kind of budget deal, these kind of reductions could be inevitable.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest