Obama Budget Cuts Medicare, Social Security for Tax Hikes

Obama Budget Cuts Medicare, Social Security for Tax Hikes

President Obama’s budget blueprint will include proposed changes to Social Security and Medicare, and some new tax increases, administration officials said.

The senior officials said Obama’s budget, to be presented next week, will include an offer the president made to House Speaker John Boehner in December — $400 billion in savings to Medicare over 10 years, CNN reported Friday.

Concerning Social Security, Obama is expected to propose a switch to a key Republican request called “chained CPI,” an inflation formula supporters say is a more accurate measurement, CNN said. Some critics counter that chained CPI isn’t a better way to measure inflation for Social Security recipients because of their healthcare expenses, which rise faster than inflation.

The new budget would garner about $1.8 trillion in savings in 10 years and replace the forced budget cuts, known as the sequester, that took effect on March 1, CNN said.

Also included in Obama’s proposal are funds for initiatives he outlined in his State of the Union address, including universal access to pre-kindergarten education, which would be underwritten by an increase in cigarette taxes.

The plan would also close a loophole that allows people to collect disability and unemployment benefits simultaneously, creating a savings for the government, officials said.

Obama’s budget was due in February. Congressional Republicans have been critical of the delay, which followed drawn-out negotiations on spending cuts and tax rates.