A guide to the next debate on entitlement cuts

Talk about counter-programming: A coalition of Social Security advocates plans a one-day summit meeting later this month to talk about ways to expand Social Security benefits to address America’s retirement security crisis. Unfortunately, it looks like Washington will be changing the channel.

f we do manage to sidestep the shutdown-Obamacare-debt ceiling-default crisis this week with our economic system intact, it looks like Congress and the White House will enter a new round of negotiations to cut Social Security – and Medicare.

I don’t need a crystal ball to make this forecast. Entitlement cuts are on the agenda not only for Republicans, but for the White House, which included cuts to Social Security and Medicare in its budget for the fiscal year that was supposed to start October 1st. So, the dialog in Washington will keep moving in the wrong direction: taking money out of the pockets of older Americans at a time when Social Security benefits already were cut by 1983 legislation, pensions are vanishing and many approaching retirement haven’t saved enough.

Still, you’ll need a scorecard to follow the entitlement cutbacks that will be up for discussion during the next phase of budget wars, and what they will mean for the pocketbooks of older Americans. Your columnist unhappily obliges, over at Reuters Money.