Congress has yet to take up spending cuts to big-ticket items like Medicare and Social Security that the White House had proposed to curb deficits. Still, mounting debt makes conversations around future expenditures more difficult. Lawmakers have choked on passing a large infrastructure package, for example, because there’s no plan to pay for it.
“In some ways, our economy is held back by the public investments that we are not making,” said Steve Wamhoff, director of federal tax policy for the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. “Even if we think that spending on infrastructure would be a good thing, politically we can’t do this spending because we have to address this deficit.” Read more