President Barack Obama’s plan to propose reductions in future Social Security got bad reviews from at least two members of his own party Friday – the pair who represent the Quad-Cities in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Reps. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., and Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, took a dim view of tying future benefit growth to a different method of calculating inflation. The president plans to include the proposal in the budget he presents to Congress next week, according to multiple news reports.

The proposal is part of a budget plan that projects reducing the deficit by $1.8 trillion over the next 10 years. The plan also would cancel the $1.2 billion in sequester savings that just began to take effect. The president also will propose cuts in Medicare.

The entitlement cuts will be especially risky for Democrats, many of whom campaigned last year against the idea of making fundamental changes to either program.

Bustos, who was in the Quad-Cities for a roundtable discussion at Black Hawk College about the role of community colleges in the economy, said in an interview that she is opposed to the cuts, particularly in Social Security.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea,” she said. “There isn’t anything I said when we were campaigning that I don’t continue to believe.”

She said she wants to ensure Social Security “remains strong, that it’s here for the generation now and for future generations.” She said the same was true for Medicare.

Loebsack also was in the area to meet with the North Scott Rotary Club and for an event in Davenport marking Community Development Block Grant Week. He also opposes the idea.

“The president should not be pushing to switch to the ‘chained CPI’. I strongly believe we must balance the budget, but not on the backs of seniors, the middle class and the most vulnerable,” Loebsack said.

The “chained consumer price index” is a method for figuring inflation that differs from what’s being used now. Many economists think it’s a more accurate gauge of inflation, but utilizing it would mean slower growth in benefits.

The idea of changing the way future benefit increases are figured has been around for a long time, and it was part of the “grand bargain” that Obama and House Speaker John Boehner nearly struck last year. Many economists think meaningful deficit reduction must include entitlement reductions.

Boehner on Friday dismissed the president’s proposal.

Groups that have been the president’s allies at times also are opposed to the proposal.

Earlier this year, AARP in Iowa began alerting its members about the possibility of converting to the chained CPI.

(5) comments

senor citizen

Anyone in the House or the Senate who tampers with Social Security, will find themselves back in private life after their term of office has expired. President Obama is not running for election, but that is a full time job for the House and Senate.They would find that their political career wouldl be over. That is fact, regardless of which side of the issue is taken as right.

Amala
Amala

First of the basic premise is wrong: cut entitlements. Since when is Social Security an entitlement? We paid into it and we should be able to draw from it when we retire, no questions asked. The problem IS indeed that the elite wealthy members of society use every loophole possible to try to bleed this nation of money that belongs to the public. Call it Marxism if you will but no one was calling it that in the Eisenhower era when tax rates for the wealthy were nearly 50%! Due to that, our infrastructure was being built up, our education system was tops, we had a strong middle class with purchasing power and time to enjoy their families and their lives. And this continued until Regan came along and said enough of socialism. But the more there is a gap between rich and poor, the easier it is for us to collapse. If you compared this to the body, the feet would be amputated and the torso, the core, would be anorexic while the top would be all blubber. It can't live. It will topple.

Klaatu
Klaatu

Wow. If this doesn't highlight what is wrong with this administration, I don't know what would do the job. How about denying government aid to anyone who is in the country illegally? And restoring the work requirements for welfare? You would find out very quickly how many people really need help if you simply require the young and healthy on welfare to show up for twenty hours of community work every week. There are hundreds of places to cut the budget before you go after SS recipients. This regime already took 700 billion out of Medicare to fund Obamacare, and that is while simultaneously expanding Medicaid. This is absolute insanity. We have 13 people working full time for every 1 on disability, down from the 47 to 1 ratio of the late 60's. He is grossly expanding welfare, even advertising Food Stamp benefits in Mexico, and doing while slashing the benefits of US citizens. Something is really wrong in the WH.

TeaPublican

Let's just talk the truth here Klaatu. We TeaPublicans are not going to allow other cuts to happen. Yes, I know we could save $168 billion by closing international tax loopholes and incentives to move jobs overseas. And we could save $140 billion by eliminating write-offs for corporate meals and entertainment. And we could save $25 billion by eliminating special oil, gas, and coal tax breaks. We could save $10 billion by denying mortgage deductions for vacation homes and yachts . And of course we could save $3 billion by closing tax loopholes for corporate jets. And sure everyone knows we could save $126 million by getting rid of special write-offs for horse breeders! But we TeaPublicans have convinced all Republicans leaders not to consider cutting even 1 single penny from these programs! We demand drastic cuts to Medicare and Social Security! The so called "Greatest Generation" is bleeding our America dry and we need to stand up to them and say enough! The "Greatest Generation" needs to be "Great Again", and support cuts in Medicare and Social Security in order to "again save America"! We TeaPublicans are asking the "Greatest Generation" to just stand up and help us take back America and be great again. We TeaPublicans would expect nothing less of them!

Klaatu
Klaatu

Can't you ever just tell the truth about anything? Your tax "loopholes" are not people getting checks. They are deductions to encourage investment, they still pay taxes. You don't understand anything. This administration is simultaneously cutting Medicare, SS and Medicaid while expanding the programs. They add millions of illegals to the systems and cut benefits for US citizens. You are hopeless, you are just stuck on the idea that some rich guy is going to pay for everything you want. At what point will you admit this regime is a failure? We are sinking fast, there isn't much time left to save the country from the Marxists that are running the show.

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