Last year, the bipartisan debt ceiling agreement called for a so-called super committee to find trillions in spending cuts to help offset a hike in deficit spending in the present. The super committee went about its work, knowing that if it failed to reach a consensus, huge automatic spending cuts would be inflicted upon defense and Medicare spending in 2013. Of course, the committee failed, and now those massive cuts are looming.
House Republicans are now trying to reverse the sequestration cuts to defense spending and apply the cuts to other domestic programs, including the food stamp program.
Louisiana Rep. John Fleming is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He strongly opposed last summer’s debt ceiling deal over the damage sequestration could do to the military and because he was not interested in giving the green light to huge annual deficits. He says Speaker John Boehner and other Republicans were naive to trust President Obama and the Democrats in agreeing to the super committee and in putting half a trillion dollars in defense spending on the line in addition to another $500 billion already cut from the national security budget over the next decade.
Fleming says the cuts would reduce our Navy to capacity we had back in 1915. He says other branches would be at their weakest since before World War II. Fleming is also a doctor, and he explains how the Medicare cuts will impact doctors and other service providers. He says that preserves benefits for Medicare patients but that won’t help much when providers refuse to see them because they aren’t being reimbursed for the care they provide.