Obama Budget to Offer GOP a Spoonful of Sugar

Medicare, Social Security cuts 'demonstrate willingness to compromise': NYT

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 5, 2013 9:12 AM CDT

(Newser) Obama's personal salary isn't the only figure the president plans on cutting this year. A new budget set to be released next week proposes cuts to Medicare and Social Security. It's a deficit-reducing olive branch to the GOP, and the administration says it will lead to $1.8 trillion in savings over the next decade (and replace the sequester in the process), reports CNN. The $400 billion in cuts to Medicare and other social programs sees Obama repeating an offer he made to John Boehner during fiscal crisis negotiations last year. He is also proposing a new inflation formula for determining Social Security benefits that is popular with Republicans—considerably less so with Democrats—that the New York Times says will have the effect of reducing cost-of-living payments.

These proposals are intended as a spoonful of sugar to help Republicans swallow tax increases elsewhere. Other budget proposals include universal access to prekindergarten education—funded by a increase in tobacco taxes—and a limit on the amount of wealth that can be accrued in tax-preferred savings accounts. "The president has made clear that he is willing to compromise and do tough things to reduce the deficits," said a senior official, "but only in the context of a package like this one that has balance and includes revenues from the wealthiest Americans and that is designed to promote economic growth.”

In this March 21, 2013 photo, President Barack Obama speaks.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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