Social Security reform looms with or without Obama

February 28, 2011

By Sean Lengell-The Washington Times

Despite President Obama‘s promises to lower the deficit and rein in spending, there was a conspicuous omission from his 2012 budget blueprint that many say would go a long way toward easing the nation’s financial woes: Social Security reform.

The White House and top congressional Democrats argue that Social Security isn’t contributing to the nation’s deficit. Others say that’s nonsense and accuse Democrats of using fuzzy math to justify their claim.

But with the Republican-controlled House eager to continue cutting spending and a bipartisan congressional commission suggesting significant Social Security scale-backs, expect the issue to gain momentum this year.

Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute, a free-market think thank, said it was “bad politics” for the president not to tackle entitlement programs such as Social Security in his budget proposal.

“I actually think he’s made it easier for Republicans to go ahead with their discretionary spending cuts because they can say, ‘Look, the nation has got a fiscal crisis and the president is doing absolutely nothing,’” he said.

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