President Barack Obama blamed Republicans for allowing $85 billion in budget cuts to move forward as part of the Sequestration agreement he signed.
Now the Democrat president is considering raising taxes again and cutting Medicare and Social Security benefits for millions of Americans, according to a White House official on Sunday.
Angered by Republicans who called his bluff on automatic spending cuts that became law on Friday, Obama has suggested cutting Medicare and Social Security benefits for seniors and other Americans. The White House spokesman didn’t mention similar cuts to popular Medicaid programs.
"He's reaching out to Democrats who understand we have to make serious progress on long-term entitlement reform and Republicans who realize that if we had that type of entitlement reform, they'd be willing to have tax reform that raises revenues to lower the deficit," White House senior economic official Gene Sperling said on Sunday on the CNN program "State of the Union."
Mr. Obama, who raised taxes in January, attempted to force Republicans to agree to further tax increases before he would agree to smaller Sequestration cuts. While the U.S. Senate led by Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada hasn’t produced a budget in four years, Obama chastised Republicans for weeks because they wouldn’t raise taxes again.
Mr. Obama, who claimed that the cuts would produce flight delays and stop janitors from cleaning up the capital, is back-pedaling on his remarks since the cuts became law on March 1.
Obama’s suggestion to cut Medicare and Social Security programs comes as new budget battles heat up over a continuing resolution required to keep the government running in absence of a budget proposal by the U. S. Senate.
Republican leaders said Sunday they are against allowing a government shutdown on March 27 when funding runs out for most federal programs.
Democratic Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland told Reuters that he too favors raising taxes; however the senate hasn’t even proposed an actual budget and has not indicated that it is prepared to do so before the March 27 deadline.