Obama Avoids Debt Crisis, But Other Standoffs Loom
STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
Ari, good morning.
ARI SHAPIRO: Good morning, Steve.
INSKEEP: So we heard some of the criticisms there in David's piece. Deficit hawks say this bill doesn't do as much as they would like to reduce the long- term deficit, long-term debts. People on the left say it's not going to really help the economy or joblessness.
INSKEEP: What are people thinking at the White House?
SHAPIRO: And also this does not create any good will within the president's own party. As we heard, Democrats in Congress are referring to this deal as bizarre, as evil, in one case as a Satan sandwich.
INSKEEP: OK. So some harsh language there, but you just mentioned some of the larger concepts - tax reform, changing Medicare and the way that that is billed, in the way that is paid. There are ideas here that people on both sides seemed close to signing onto, and can they plausibly again? Could some of these larger proposals still be alive?
SHAPIRO: So it's not going to be an easy negotiation, but both sides have a real incentive to reach a deal, because the alternative, if they don't reach a deal, which is dramatic cuts in both domestic and defense spending; that's something that neither party wants or is willing to tolerate.
INSKEEP: Well, does that make, isn't it December 23rd when this committee's recommendations are supposed to be voted on? That's going to become another crisis point here, or could become another crisis point.
SHAPIRO: The good news, if you can call it that, is that the threat of a government shutdown at least is not as disastrous as a threat of the U.S. government defaulting on its debts and getting a credit downgrade. But these issues are in no way gone. They're going to keep playing out in the weeks and months ahead.
INSKEEP: Okay, so we've got this compromise. Most of the effects, reducing the deficit, are in the future, several years out, out to a decade out. Are people at the White House now, Ari, talking about things that they could do to deal with the weak economy now, do with this Congress?
SHAPIRO: I think you can expect to see the push for Congress to act on these things grow in volume now that the debt ceiling crisis has been averted.
INSKEEP: Ari, thanks very much.
SHAPIRO: You're welcome.
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