A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Deficit Arithmetic: Cut Everything 34% Now?

Without an increase in the debt ceiling, could Washington avoid default simply by cutting spending? That's what two leading Republicans, Rep. Michele Bachmann and Sen. Jim DeMint, urged over the weekend. What they didn't say is that this would require instant cuts of at least 34 percent in everything but interest payments. And the cuts would be far deeper if Congress exempted popular programs for the elderly, or for defense.
Minnesota Rep. Bachmann, appearing on CBS'