Posted on 27 September 2012
By Mark Miller
Will President Obama cut Social Security benefits if he is re-elected? You wouldn’t think so, judging by his campaign rhetoric. But the trouble is, we don’t know much detail beyond his campaign stump speeches.
Medicare and Social Security, he said to a cheering crowd at AARP’s national convention last week in New Orleans, “are bedrock commitments that America makes to its seniors, and I consider those commitments unshakeable.” Vice President Joe Biden has been just as emphatic, issuing a “guarantee” during a Virginia campaign appearance last month that there would be no changes to Social Security in a second Obama term.
But the AARP crowd – and all voters – should listen a bit more carefully to what the president says about Social Security. It may then become clear how much he isn’t saying.
It is possible that Obama is keeping his options open for a big deal on deficit reduction that could include Social Security benefit cuts – reductions that could trim benefits for today’s seniors – and reduce them substantially down the road for working boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials. Some Senate Democrats fear this could occur as early as the lame-duck session of Congress following the November election.
Learn more in my column today at Reuters.