Obama wants to cut Social Security

President Obama has now officially said:

We’ll make the tough reforms required to strengthen Medicare for the future, without undermining the rock-solid guarantee at its core.  And we’ll enact commonsense tax reform that includes closing wasteful tax loopholes for the wealthy and well-connected – loopholes like the ones that can allow a billionaire to pay a lower tax rate than his or her secretary.

This is the compromise I offered the Speaker of the House at the end of last year.  While it’s not my ideal plan to further reduce the deficit, it’s a compromise I’m willing to accept in order to move beyond a cycle of short-term, crisis-driven decision-making, and focus on growing our economy and our middle class for the long run.  It includes ideas many Republicans have said they could accept as well.  It’s a way we can make progress together.

Hmm, he seems to have left off something. Let’s see:

Obama’s budget for fiscal 2014, set for release April 10, will propose reducing Social Security recipients’ annual cost-of-living adjustments by changing the inflation calculation, according to an outline released last week. The Medicare insurance program for the elderly would be cut by reducing payments to health-care providers and drug companies and imposing more costs on high-income beneficiaries.

Ah yes, cuts to Social Security. Republicans have been trying to cut Social Security and Medicare since they were introduced, but it looks like a Democrat who starts the process. Well, at least his budget will include some ‘stimulus’ (not really, since the budget is being cut):

Less than a week after job-creation figures fell short of expectations and underscored the U.S. economy’s fragility, President Barack Obama will send Congress a budget that doesn’t include the stimulus his allies say is needed and instead embraces cuts in an appeal to Republicans.

Wonderful. Let’s see what Republicans say:

“At some point we need to solve our spending problem, and what the president has offered would leave us with a budget that never balances,” Boehner said in a statement last week. “If the president believes these modest entitlement savings are needed to help shore up these programs, there’s no reason they should be held hostage for more tax hikes.”

Jon Kyl, the Senate’s second-ranking Republican until he retired in January, dismissed the budget proposal as “old wine in a new bottle.”

Still, Kyl, now a senior adviser for the Washington law firm Covington & Burling, said some Republican senators are concerned about the level of defense cuts in the automatic spending reductions under the sequestration and may be looking for a way to restart negotiations on the budget.

“There’s no harm in talking,” Kyl said, “and I suspect some people will view this as an opening gambit and see if some middle ground can be reached.”

This should have been obvious to Obama, what he considers a compromise is what Republicans now consider his opening bid and they will expect to see more compromise. If Obama actually reaches a deal with Republicans the cuts to Social Security and Medicare will have to be bigger–good job Mr. President. Go here to sign a petition to expand Social Security.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Let them eat cake | Petunias

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