Obama Offers Cutting Entitlements to Stop Budget Cuts
President Barack Obama renews his offer of cutting entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare as a way to resolve the damaging budget cuts. Both sides in Washington are looking for ways to limit a fiscal crisis that could affect millions of Americans.
The latest offer is an indicator that the president is ready for a compromise in order to end the automatic spending cuts that took effect Friday. President Obama mentioned changing the entitlement programs in calls with Democrats and Republicans last Saturday afternoon.
Republicans have maintained that the only way to reduce budget deficits in the long run is to slow down the social safety net programs. These include Medicare and Medicaid healthcare programs for the elderly, disabled and poor and the Social Security retirement program. These programs have become more expensive as a large portion of the population hits retirement age.
President Obama still insisted that new tax revenues must be part of the deficit reduction package on top of the savings on the entitlement programs. But the Republicans reject the idea from the start. The budget talks in Congress turned more serious Friday when the sequestration took effect after both parties failed to agree on how to avert the spending cuts.
Democrats predict the automatic spending cuts could result to air traffic delays, layoffs of thousands of federal workers, and meat shortages as food safety inspections slow down. Budget battles continue in Washington and there are speculations that President Obama is set to name Sylvia Matthews Burwell as head of the White House Office of Management and Budget. She is a veteran of the Bill Clinton administration and president of the Walmart Foundation that handles the corporation’s charitable efforts.
White House was mum about the details regarding President Obama’s meeting with members of Congress Saturday. They also didn’t identify the lawmakers present at the meeting.