As the Washington Post reports,
For the first time, he is formally proposing to trim scheduled Social Security benefits — a GOP demand that is anathema to many Democrats. He is also offering to make meaningful reductions in Medicare benefits, including higher premiums for couples making more than $170,000 a year...President Barack Obama has officially sold out. Perhaps, he sold out a long time ago and we were just too blind to see it. Here is what he said before he was even elected.
Of the entitlement cuts, Obama said, “I don’t believe that all these ideas are optimal, but I’m willing to accept them as part of a compromise.” He added: “When it comes to deficit reduction, I’ve already met Republicans more than halfway. So in the coming days and weeks, I hope that Republicans will come forward and demonstrate that they’re really as serious about the deficits and debt as they claim to be.”
The president’s debt-reduction proposal mirrors an offer he made to Boehner in negotiations over the fiscal cliff.
That includes nearly $400 billion from federal health programs, primarily Medicare, with the bulk of the cuts falling on drug companies and other providers. But Medicare beneficiaries would also take a hit, through higher premiums and requirements to substitute generic drugs for more expensive brand names.
Obama also proposes to slow the growth of Social Security benefits through chained CPI, trimming cost-of-living increases by roughly three-tenths of a percentage point a year and saving the government about $130 billion over the next decade.
White House officials said the change would not affect programs for the poor, such as Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, and would be adjusted to reduce the impact on retirees 77 or older. Still, the proposal has infuriated many Democrats, who have long demanded that Social Security be protected from any debt-reduction deal.
Obama is balancing the budget on the backs of our seniors. Many of our seniors are already struggling. This will only make it harder for seniors to buy food and medicine. Unfortunately, this is probably just the beginning. If we do not act now, the President will probably agree to make additional cuts in entitlements in order to reach a "Grand Bargain". That Grand Bargain will be nothing but a Grand Sellout. We cannot sit back and let that happen. We did not vote for austerity. We voted to move forward, not backward.
This article is cross-posted on Jack and Jill Politics.