Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid Cuts On The Table

Obama_Hope_Is_Fading.jpgNEW YORK TIMES: Mr. Obama, appearing at the White House after meeting with Speaker John A. Boehner and other Republican and Democratic leaders, said both sides had pledged to come to an agreement before Aug. 2, when the Treasury Department says the government will reach a debt ceiling that will make further borrowing impossible. “Nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to,” Mr. Obama said of the substance of the talks, which are ranging across entitlement programs, including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, as well as tax-related measures like the closing of loopholes and tax breaks for the wealthy and corporate interests. “People were frank,” Mr. Obama said. “We discussed the various options that are available to us.” The president’s renewed efforts follow what knowledgeable officials said was an overture from Mr. Boehner, who met secretly with Mr. Obama last weekend, to consider as much as $1 trillion in unspecified new revenue as part of an overhaul of tax laws in exchange for an agreement that made substantial spending cuts, including in social programs. MORE

Obama_Hope_Is_Fading.jpgLOS ANGELES TIMES: Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, said in a statement that he was “disturbed that the president is considering cuts in Social Security.” He quoted Obama from the 2008 campaign, when he said that John McCain‘s campaign suggested cutting cost-of-living adjustments or raising the retirement age and then proclaimed that he “will not do either.” “The American people expect the president to keep his word,” Sanders said. released a survey of its members that found that 76% would be less likely to donate or volunteer for Obama’s reelection effort if he cut Social Security. “MoveOn members, who worked tirelessly to elect the president, could not be more clear: Balancing the budget by cutting Social Security or Medicare benefits is just plain wrong,” Justin Ruben, executive director of, said. “Cutting Social Security to reduce the national debt is like attacking Iraq to get Osama Bin Laden — the two things are not related,” said Jim Dean, chair of Democracy for America, a group founded by former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean.

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