Stephanopoulos got one detail wrong: The spending cuts of 2011 came from the spring budget deal to avert a shutdown as well as the Budget Control Act, which concluded the last debt ceiling crisis. But the total cuts did come out to at least $1.5 trillion over the next decade — and considerably more than that, once reduced interest payments due to a smaller debt are factored in.
So more than twice the $600 billion in new revenue raised by the fiscal cliff deal. And before that there was the $700 billion in reduced Medicare spending passed in the Affordable Care Act in 2010. The country has, in fact, already “confronted” the spending problem.
We have already done all the discretionary spending cuts in the Budget Control Act. There is nothing more that we should cut from discretionary spending.
Going forward, in the medium and long term there is potentially a big problem with health care price inflation. But we know what to do about that. Just because politicians don’t have the guts to pay less to health care providers doesn’t mean it’s ok to keep cutting stuff like Community Development Block Grants and Planned Parenthood that are not driving the deficit.