All the yakking about a fiscal cliff seems to fall somewhere between mistaken Mayan prophecies about Doomsday and hypersonic skydiving from space.
The lame-duck 112th Congress – hamstrung by Tea Party Republicans in the House and filibuster-happy Republicans in the Senate – is proposing to Democratic President Barack Obama that Social Security, Medicare and other social services be cut. Meanwhile, the Economic Policy Institute has released a report with a solution: Cut the deficit by growing the economy.
Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock (R-18) says a provision of the Affordable Care Act prevents Illinois from enacting serious Medicaid reform. That provision prevents states from reducing benefits or tightening requirements to qualify for Medicaid.
The House has passed a measure to repeal that provision.
Schock says, “They (federal government) have Illinois trapped right now in a situation where they can't reduce their budget deficit, reduce their spending.”
Illinois lawmakers are heading into the home stretch of their 2012 session. But they still need to approve a budget before they can adjourn.
They've been working for months to try figuring out how they can cut two of the state's biggest expenses: pensions and Medicaid.
Some lawmakers are not pleased with the pace.
"Well, why would you be concerned? We've got two and a half weeks left. We've got all the time in the world to fix our problems here in the state of Illinois,” remarked Representative Joe Lyons (D-Chicago).