So, we'll counter each other (and worry about the Republicans later);
...with eyes now turning toward a newly formed budget committee, some liberal lawmakers and groups are worried that Democrats will negotiate cuts to Social Security benefits and other entitlement programs. The president's budget blueprint, which was released in April, proposed slowing the growth of Social Security spending by using a new measure of inflation—an idea that drew a rebuke from some lawmakers and liberal groups.
"The president is about to run into a major base problem if he tries to do this," said Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.), co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, referring to using the new formula, the chained consumer-price index, to determine benefits. "My advice to him is: Don't do it."Out of the shutdown frying pan...
The president tried to lay the groundwork for a broader deficit-reduction deal by including chained CPI, the formula that would slow the growth of annual cost-of-living adjustments, in his budget proposal. In his $3.8 trillion budget blueprint, Mr. Obama also called for squeezing $370 billion from Medicare by raising some fees and premiums as well as making cuts to providers.
A senior administration official said the president stands by his budget as written and is willing to make changes to entitlements as part of a larger agreement that also includes new tax revenue.
Mr. Obama, in his post-shutdown speech last week, highlighted what he would like to see in a budget deal, warning against "just cutting for the sake of cutting," while calling for new spending in education, research and infrastructure projects. He also said he worried about the long-term viability of the entitlement programs.Et tu, Barack?
Maybe the congressional Democrats can write the legislation and the President design the software to implement it.
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