U.S. Senator Joe Manchin says, whatever form the federal deficit reduction plan takes, there needs to be a $4 million swing between spending cuts and revenue increases.
“Any way that I see what they’re doing, I don’t think we’re going to give any type of certainty to the market to say that we’ve really been able to face the financial challenge that we have and meet it,” Senator Manchin said of the proposals up to this point.
A plan from House Republicans comes with a projected $2.2 trillion in deficit savings over the next ten years.
It includes $800 billion in tax reforms without tax increases, $600 billion from changes to Medicare, including a proposal to take the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67, along with $600 billion in other spending cuts.
It was the counterproposal to President Barack Obama’s plan that comes with $1.6 trillion in new revenues, including tax increases for those who make more than $250,000 annually, along with $400 billion in cuts to Medicare and other programs.
Senator Manchin says he thinks adjustments should be made at the top income levels, more than anywhere else, because they have benefited the most.
“I’m a little less optimistic that we will have a big plan which I am totally in support of, have not changed, will not change,” he said.
“We’ve got to fix the amount of money that we spend and curtail that. We’ve got to have a fair and equitable revenue plan which is a tax overhaul. We have to look at running our entitlement programs much better than we have, which is our Social Security, Medicare and all of that.”
Senator Manchin was a guest on Thursday’s MetroNews Talkline. Host Hoppy Kercheval asked him if the U.S. economy is going to go over the fiscal cliff at the close of 2012.
“This fiscal cliff thing is overrated to the point, you can smooth it out. You can do it and do it right and not penalize anybody and I think that we have to take a rational approach to this,” Senator Manchin said in response
“It’s a shame that we’re not going to go down that road right now and we’re still playing politics. The election is over.”
Reports Thursday indicated formal talks on a debt reduction plan were at a standstill on Capitol Hill.