No bad idea supported by President Obama is ever permanently defeated, it is at best simply stopped temporarily. In a statement today about the sequestration cuts Obama wanted to make it clear that the proposed entitlements cuts that he has previously backed are still on the table. In fact Obama made sure to repeat this point. From the transcript:
The proposals that I’ve put forward during the fiscal cliff negotiations, in discussions with Speaker Boehner and others, are still very much on the table.
I just want to repeat; the deals that I put forward, the balanced approach of spending cuts and entitlement reform and tax reform that I put forward are still on the table.
I’ve offered sensible reforms to Medicare and other entitlements and my healthcare proposals achieved the same amount of savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms that have been proposed by the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission.
While Obama did not specifically mention any entitlement cuts in this statement, it is being widely reported what cuts Obama has back in previous possible deals. The biggest were raising the Medicare retirement age from 65 to 67 and switching to the chained-CPI for Social Security.
The switch to chained-CPI would effectivey be a yearly cut on every senior with the sizes of the cut growing as a senior ages. Raising the Medicare retirement age would be an uniquely terrible policy. That would increase health care cost for seniors, businesses, states, and individuals while saving the federal government relatively little money.
Obama really wants to cut Social Security and he wants to make sure everyone knows it.
Photo by .m for matthijs under Creative Commons license