Senate ‘cliff’ deal will push debt to $20 trillion by 2017

Throughout the talks, Obama rejected GOP proposals to trim fast-growing entitlement programs.

For example, GOP leaders have long called for the introduction of market-based incentives to federal health-care programs. Those measures are intended to give aid-recipients financial incentives to reduce wasteful spending.

Similarly, Obama and his allies rejected a GOP proposal to improve the automatic anti-inflation adjustments to Social Security programs. The change would cut Social Security spending by only 1 percent, $100 billion over the period 2013 to 2022, when spending is expected to reach $10.6 trillion.

Administration officials, including Obama, almost never mention current and predicted debt levels when talking about the nation’s annual budget deficits.

GOP officials say they’ll use their power over the federal credit-card to force another round of spending cuts in February negotiations.

But Obama said Dec. 31 that would demand further tax increases in exchange for spending cuts during the February talks.

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