Pay close attention the language House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi chooses to use regarding reports that Democrats on the Super Committee have offered to cut Medicare benefits. From Politico:
Pelosi said she’s reserving judgment until she sees the package, but indicated that she wouldn’t like cuts to health and retirement benefits without tax increases.
“It’s not fair to say to a senior, ‘You’re going to pay more for Social Security and we’re not going to touch a hair on the head of the wealthiest people in our country,’ ” she said Thursday. “It’s not fair to say to that senior, ‘By the way, that increased premium that you’re paying is now going to be considered revenue.’”
She added: “Let’s just see a package. Let’s not again exclude anything.”
While she said it won’t be fair to cut benefits without raising taxes on the rich, she is clearly implying that if we modestly raise taxes on the wealthy, it would be acceptable to her to take Medicare and Social Security benefits away from seniors.
Saying “let’s not exclude anything” as part of answer to a question about cutting benefits is putting benefit cuts on the table.
Pelosi’s statement today, like the leak of the Super Committee Democrats’ proposal yesterday, is part of an extremely depressing pattern. It is the Democratic party slowly moving from defending entitlement programs to taking the official position that Medicare and Social Security should be cut.
If this is how the Democratic party leadership is choosing to rhetorically position itself in the weeks before the Super Committee is scheduled to release its plan, our social safety net is is real danger.