When it comes to the economy, the White House is talking tough to the Republicans ... about the debt ceiling. It's true that the threat to shut down the government by refusing to honor its debt obligations is downright un-American. The Administration's right to call them out for that. But there's a larger question: Who's going to give the American people some straight talk about the GOP's economic ideas?
Forget the debt ceiling for a moment, if you can. Forget the GOP's attempt to shut down the government over the Affordable Care Act. Who is going to explain to the American people how profoundly misguided, and even immoral, the Republicans' entire economic agenda has become?
Granted, it's a big job. First, there's the House's underhanded "continuing resolution", which freezes in place "sequestration" cuts that are $70 billion below the figure which both parties agreed to in prior negotiations. Apparently trustworthiness is not a strong trait among today's Republicans.
Then there's the wanton cruelty in this budget: The cuts to the TRIO program which helps poor Americans get a higher education and better themselves. Reductions in the SNAP program for hungry Americans, which provides the average recipient with $133 per month in assistance.
Sen. Bernie Sanders lists some of the effects of sequester-based cuts: 57,000 children losing access to Head Start programs. Tens of thousands of seniors dropped from Meals on Wheels. Cuts to housing assistance for the elderly, disabled, and others that will affect 147,000 households. 70,000 college students without a work-study program. Cancer patients losing Medicare-financed treatments. Roughly 400,000 elderly and other low-income households losing heating assistance during the upcoming winter months.