Borrowing benefits: Why not cut elsewhere?
July 20, 2010
President Obama wants to spend another $33 billion to extend unemployment insurance benefits. Such an expansion right now will help more than it hurts, but Congress doesn't need to borrow the money, as the President and Democrats in Congress want to do.
All Republicans ask is that the spending be paid for. Democrats refuse to do that. Why?
It doesn't make sense to borrow on top of our $1 trillion deficit when Congress could make offsetting cuts now or in the near future. A $33 billion spending reduction elsewhere to pay for more unemployment benefits won't harm the economy. But if Democrats can't bring themselves to do that, they could approve cuts that would take place over the next few years.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates last year cut $87 billion by nixing one line of vehicle purchases. Insurer United Health this spring proposed ways to save $366 billion in state and federal spending on Medicaid by improving the way services are provided.
Ideas are out there. Why do Congress and the President insist on borrowing when they don't have to?