Thursday, July 7, 2011

Obama Proposes Social Security Cuts

The PBS clip is informative, but no mention of calls to reform Social Security.

But see the Washington Post, "In debt talks, Obama offers Social Security cuts" (via Memeorandum):

President Obama is pressing congressional leaders to consider a far-reaching debt-reduction plan that would force Democrats to accept major changes to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for Republican support for fresh tax revenue.

At a meeting with top House and Senate leaders set for Thursday morning, Obama plans to argue that a rare consensus has emerged about the size and scope of the nation’s budget problems and that policymakers should seize the moment to take dramatic action.

As part of his pitch, Obama is proposing significant reductions in Medicare spending and for the first time is offering to tackle the rising cost of Social Security, according to people in both parties with knowledge of the proposal. The move marks a major shift for the White House and could present a direct challenge to Democratic lawmakers who have vowed to protect health and retirement benefits from the assault on government spending.

“Obviously, there will be some Democrats who don’t believe we need to do entitlement reform. But there seems to be some hunger to do something of some significance,” said a Democratic official familiar with the administration’s thinking. “These moments come along at most once a decade. And it would be a real mistake if we let it pass us by.”
The proposal doesn't seem very specific on reforming Social Security, other than perhaps reductions in the annual inflation adjustments for recipients. That's a step in the right direction, but there's no shortage of proposals for fixing entitlements, so I'll be interested to hear what else comes up.

See also New York Times, "President Looks for Broader Deal on Deficit Cuts."