The Budget Deal's Sacrificial Lamb

Bipartisan budget negotiations led by Vice-President Joe Biden are quietly making progress. Word is that both parties have agreed on about $1 trillion in spending cuts, which Republicans have said are necessary to extend the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling ahead of an early August deadline.

Corporate leaders and the three rating agencies have warned of dire consequences if the US government has to default.

Vice-President Joe Biden

But the Obama administration and GOP congressional leaders are playing a high-stakes game of chicken. Republicans have taken tax increases off the table. Democrats have drawn a line in the sand on Medicare and Social Security. That leaves cuts in discretionary domestic spending, defense (but don

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