President Obama had planned to cut Social Security by reducing cost of living increases, but those plans have been put on hold, presumably at least until the Congressional midterms are over. Last Thursday the White House dropped a proposal to cut Social Security from its budget proposal in order to protect Democrats who’d surely catch heat for voting to cut the popular federal pension program.
Obama’s proposed cuts shouldn’t have come as a surprise since Obama often preemptively negotiates with Republicans, even though the tactic has proved a failure.
Reuters reports on why the White House dropped the proposal:
Dropping the offer this year is a sign Democrats are girding for November congressional elections and in no mood to risk supporting proposals that could cost them votes from seniors on Election Day on November 4.
Obama had offered to make a controversial change in how the government calculates inflation for Social Security and other federal benefits in a way that could lead to cuts in benefits for some Americans.
Even though nothing that has transpired since Obama took office gave reason for optimism, White House officials had hoped that cutting Social Security would lead to some sort of grand bargain between them and Congressional Republicans.
A White House official said that by “refusing to identify even one unfair tax loophole they would be willing to close despite the president’s willingness to put tough things on the table.”
However, even though the proposal is off the table for now, White House officials confirm that they remain open to the idea so long as Republicans are willing to deal.