Biden Vows to Find $1 Trillion in Budget Cuts

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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.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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