Are Cuts in Obama's New Budget Too Much?

President Obama in the White House in April 2013 (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
President Obama in the White House in April 2013 (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

As President Obama hammers out a new budget, Colorlines' Imara Jones notes which Americans may feel the biggest burn.

This latest round of reductions would fall hardest on those hit by the recession and demand very little from the few who’ve never had it better. As such, the president would continue an unfortunate pattern on economics of yielding to the power plays of Republicans against the interests of the vast majority of Americans.

But beyond this, the proposal includes two curveballs which might aggravate his base even more.

The first is that the proposal includes a change to Social Security. What’s confusing about any mention of Social Security is that the program is solvent for another generation—20 years—without any changes. Obama’s reported social security move would reduce payments to seniors by changing the way that inflation is calculated. Basically it would mean that seniors would receive smaller and smaller checks over time. But Social Security doesn’t need these cuts. For the 10-year time horizon of Obama’s budget, the program is just fine.

So why include it? Shrinking social security is a longterm political—not budget—necessity for a hardcore of the Republican base. This diehard group believes that Social Security was the beginning of a “culture of dependency” that they want to end.

By yielding to Republican demands on Social Security, the president might be hoping that they give him the larger budget deal he craves.


Read Imara Jones' entire piece at Colorlines.

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