Skip to comments.Obama to offer Social Security cuts in new budget — in exchange for tax hikes
Posted on 04/05/2013 9:22:29 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
No wonder it's taking so long for Barack Obama to send his budget proposal to Congress. The budget is almost two months overdue, but Republicans may find it worth the wait. The Washington Post reports that Obama will offer cuts to Social Security in exchange for tax hikes to close the deficit --- in effect, the grand bargain he and John Boehner nearly made two years ago:
President Obama will release a budget next week that proposes significant cuts to Medicare and Social Security and fewer tax hikes than in the past, a conciliatory approach that he hopes will convince Republicans to sign onto a grand bargain that would curb government borrowing and replace deep spending cuts that took effect March 1.
When he unveils the budget on Wednesday, Obama will break with the tradition of providing a sweeping vision of his ideal spending priorities, untethered from political realities. Instead, the document will incorporate the compromise offer Obama made to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) last December in the discussions over the so-called fiscal cliff which included $1.8 trillion in deficit reduction through spending cuts and tax increases. …
While Republicans are certain to be skeptical of Obamas call for more taxes, the president also is likely to face immediate heat over his budget proposal from some Democrats and liberal supporters. Obama proposes, for instance, to change the cost-of-living calculation for Social Security in a way that will reduce benefits for most beneficiaries, a key Republican request that he had earlier embraced only as part of a compromise. Many Democrats say they areopposed to any Social Security cuts and are likely to be furious that such cuts are now being proposed as official administration policy.
While this is not the presidents ideal deficit reduction plan, and there are particular proposals in this plan like the [cost-of-living] change that were key Republican requests and not the presidents preferred approach, the senior administration official said, this is a compromise proposal built on common ground, and the president felt it was important to make it clear that the offer still stands.
Strictly from a political standpoint, the public offer is surprising, almost shocking. Without a doubt, Democrats in the 2014 cycle would have used the senior-scaring tactics of the last decade or more when it comes to Republican demands for entitlement reform and deficit control. Most of those efforts have focused on Medicare and its greater threat to the nation’s fiscal health. When Paul Ryan offered two budgets to turn Medicare into an exchange program not dissimilar to ObamaCare for the rest of the nation, Democrats ran ads that pictured a Ryan stand-in pushing Grandma over a cliff.
That strategy is useless now that Obama has essentially endorsed entitlement reform, and proposed his own Social Security cuts — and also to Medicare, as the Post notes deeper in the piece:
The budget proposal slices $200 billion from already tight defense and domestic budgets. It would cut $400 billion from Medicare and other health programs by negotiating better prescription drug prices and asking wealthy seniors to pay more, among other policies. It would also generate $200 billion in savings by scaling back farm subsidies and federal retiree programs, among other proposals.
The proposal to change the formula to calculate Social Security payments, also originally part of the offer to Boehner, would generate $130 billion in savings and $100 billion in revenue, a result of the impact of the formula change on other government programs. But it is the change in Social Security payments to most recipients that is likely to generate the greatest outcry from the Obama administrations traditional allies.
The change in Social Security actually is more modest than in Medicare. The former appears to be the adoption of chained CPI to calculate increases in payments, which will result in lower increases rather than cuts, which means that the savings are based on future projections rather than current rates of expenditures. The cuts to Medicare look like actual cuts, and perhaps even more significant, use means testing to generate revenues, a strategy that both parties have avoided in order to maintain the illusion that Medicare (and Social Security, which acts as a qualifier) aren’t welfare programs.
This proposal puts both parties on the political hook for proposing entitlement cuts and higher fees. A good entitlement reform package might be worth a trade for tax hikes, although comprehensive tax reform would be a better idea, which this proposal nibbles at but doesn’t deliver. Unfortunately, while the SSA reform on chained CPI is a good idea, the Medicare reform goes in the wrong direction — or at least in an ineffective direction. Ryan’s strategy to introduce choice in the form of public/private exchanges and most importantly a defined-contribution relationship of government to the system is the most effective way to solidify Medicare and solve the fiscal disaster than looms in the program. Perhaps this admission by Obama of the need to restrain costs in a real way will open the door to the Ryan/Wyden approach, which would be worth a tax hike to get passed.
HUH, not sure what on earth you’re on about but to be clear, those north east Catholic elderly vote Dem, it’s the Dem which cut half a bullion out of medicare, now Obama cuts to SS and yet they still vote for him while they ignore their faith.
Again not sure what on earth you’re on about
Post of the Day!
White Catholics went 60/40 for Romney.
The purpose of tax hikes is not to reduce budget deficits. Tax hikes are intended to allow increases rather than decreases in spending and to fund those fun new programs that O loves so much.
true but the north east with all of it’s Catholics should be the most conservative and it isn’t because they call themselves Catholic but vote against their faith
Then, the federal government has a standing army which is extremely power. Both directly, and indirectly has an impact in your life. Posse Comitatus has been violated many times in our history.
Soon I will be sixty. I'm educated, experienced, well traveled and a Vet. I am a law abiding citizen...
I have been in situations were I could have been killed. I have been seriously injured...
To be honest with everyone, my government scares me.
Your post didn’t make any sense.
Manc merely pointed out that members of the Catholic church are majority democrat voters, since Protestants can’t make up for both the Catholic and the atheist voters, of course republicans generally lose.
my social security is not an entitlement, it is earned just like unemployment pay (when not abused for 99 weeks) because it was taken from my income without my consent. if i had a choice i would have NEVER opted for social security. cut welfare, entitlements, food stamps and other parasitic payments.
“my social security is not an entitlement, it is earned just like unemployment pay”
Not true. Your SS is an entitlement because the money being provided to today’s recipient is being taken out of working people’s income.
“because it was taken from my income”
True. You did have SS funds stolen from you to give to others throughout your working career. The problem is that those at that time felt an entitlement to make a claim to your income. Now you feel entitled to make a claim to other people’s income.
It is a broken system and if any private investor did the same thing that our government is doing, then they would name them Madoff or Ponzi....
The entire SS system is evil and heartbreaking.
Maybe the Republicans should bring Catholics into the coalition.
Another post that doesn’t make sense, you think the democrats are the only party that tries to win Catholic support?
The republicans try, but they cannot change their platform and drop life and marriage to do it, no one is excluding Catholics out of any “coalition”, it is the opposite, republicans for generations have been trying to figure out a way to get Catholics to switch parties.
Which is why so many republicans are dropping life and marriage. Folks like Portman et al.
I guess the Republican party figures that it’s future is to court liberal protestants rather than Catholic conservatives.
At least you’ll have a home!
Documentation File on the negative impact of the Obamanation Counterculture on America.
But unfortunately they're in the majority.
Man that doesn’t make any sense.
You defend Catholic voting for Obama, because the democrat party and it’s pro-abortion and pro-homosexual agenda is better than the pro-life, pro-marriage platform of the GOP?
The republican party always wins the Protestant vote and has elements within it that think they must move left to win the Catholic vote, your devotion to and defense of the democrat vote is just amazing.
Oh, so you believed Romney when he said he was prolife and supported traditional marraige?
The north east is mostly made up of Catholic voters, they call themselves that and yet they vote Dem.
If these people in NJ, NY, PA, NH, MA, RI, etc all voted with their so called faith and preached what they call themselves then we would not have had the radical lunatic or many Dems in congress and we certainly would not have had the homosexual lobby going state to state pushing their agenda.
You think that Obama won the Catholic vote in 2008 because of Mitt Romney?