When it comes to naming specific entitlement cuts, each party appears to be saying: “No, you go first.” Former RNC chairman Michael Steele said Monday on NOW with Alex Wagner, “We don’t want to get out in front of this and be whipped upside the head for wanting to cut all these programs”—such as after school assistance, he added.
Democrats, many of whom don’t want any cuts to entitlements, are equally or more resistant to outlining specific savings. A top Democrat told Politico, “Rob Nabors [the White House negotiator], has been saying: ‘This is what we want on revenues on the down payment. What’s you guys’ ask on the entitlement side?’ And they keep looking back at us and saying: ‘We want you to come up with that and pitch us.’ That’s not going to happen.”
The fact is that people on both sides of the aisle don’t want to hear about losing benefits. According to a CNN-ORC poll last week, two-thirds of Americans believe a fiscal cliff deal should include both spending cuts and tax increases. But a Washington Post-ABC News poll also out last week found that 67% of Americans are opposed to raising the age for Medicare coverage from 65 to 67.
Check out the video above to see what Alex and the panel had to say about the game of chicken over entitlement cuts.