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Ear to the Ground

Republicans Dismiss Obama’s Budget Proposal

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Posted on Apr 6, 2013
Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

John Boehner.

Thanks to Speaker of the House John Boehner and his fellow Republicans in the chamber, there is serious legislative opposition to the attack on Social Security that President Obama proposed in his budget plan this week.

Boehner and company aren’t out to save Social Security, of course. Their objection is to the attempt to package cuts in social programs with tax increases on wealthy Americans.

The attack on Social Security consists of a change in the way inflation is factored into the formula used to decide the size of payments made to pension recipients. It would significantly reduce the value of those payments over time, as Robert Reich explains, eventually sapping the program’s ability to provide for people who depend on it after having spent their working lives paying into it.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

It is rare for a Democratic president to voluntarily offer up cuts in benefits. His bill is a compromise between two budgets produced this year, one by House Republicans, which would cut the deficit by reducing benefits while implementing no new tax increases, and the other by the Senate Democrats, which would raise taxes while protecting benefits.

The budget to be published next week will include cuts in Medicare and social security. Obama is proposing to change the way the Consumer Price Index is measured, which would effectively reduce the value of benefits over time, though with safeguards for the poorest.

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