The President Said Sequester Was There to Force Entitlement Cuts

John Sexton
11 Feb 2013

In response to White House rules out raising Medicare eligibility age:

In case you missed it yesterday, the White House’s announcement of the debt ceiling deal (which created the sequester as a motivator toward cuts) said the bipartisan commission would “seek a balanced approach to larger deficit reduction through entitlement and tax reform.” The President got his tax reform/new revenue in December, but he has not delivered on his end of the bargain with entitlement reform.

Earlier I saw Sam Stein say “chained CPI” was back on the table. That would slow the growth of Social Security if it remains on the table, but it was already pulled off by the White House during the fiscal cliff deal in December. Even if we get that, it was something the President was always willing to offer. Here it is in his April 2011 framework:

The President does not believe that Social Security is in crisis nor is a driver of our near-term deficit problems. But, in the context of an aging population and a Social Security wage base that is declining as a share of overall earnings, Social Security faces long-term challenges that are better addressed sooner than later to ensure that the program remains for future generations the rock-solid benefit for older Americans that it has been for past generations.

So the President has not given up anything he didn’t offer and he is getting a much better ratio of cuts to revenues than what he offered. And yet, Republicans are intransigent monsters for trying to make him stick to his own framework.

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