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What Obama’s New Budget Means for You

Posted By Tina Johnson-Marcel On February 14, 2011 @ 8:50 pm In Bulletin Today | No Comments

Faced with mounting pressure to put the clamp on a hemorrhaging federal budget deficit, the White House unveiled Monday a $3.7 trillion [1] budget highlighting a plan that aims to cut more than $1 trillion over the next decade. So what does this mean for you?

Several points have special impact on Americans age 50 and over.

  • Social Security remains unchanged for the most part. “Social Security is a solemn commitment to America’s seniors that we must preserve,” Obama said today.
  • “Doc Fix,” revisited. Obama’s budget would delay by two years the 25 percent Medicare reimbursement cut to doctors. How? By cutting $62 billion from other health care programs.
  • Home energy help. The subsidized Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program that helps seniors and lower-income families heat their homes would be cut in half – from $5 billion to $2.5 billion.
Cutting $1 trillion over the next 10 years hardly puts a dent in a projected debt that could top $12 trillion in the same time period. According to analysts Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will account for more than 60 percent of of all non-interest federal spending [2] by 2035.

Last year’s bipartisan deficit commission [3] aimed for deeper cuts in the deficit with recommendations that included:

  • - raising the retirement age to 69 in 2075;
  • - higher out-of-pocket expenses for Medicare patients.

Much to the chagrin of Republicans keen on cutting spending [4], President Obama’s new budget has disregarded those recommendations.

Recent national voter polls [5] show Democrats and Republicans alike are loathe to touch treasured entitlement programs – especially those that affect people over 50 – but at the end of the day, something has to give.

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URLs in this post:

[1] $3.7 trillion: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/obama-sends-congress-3-73-trillion-budget-1.1104787

[2] federal spending: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Overview/

[3] deficit commission: http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/government-elections/info-12-2010/deficit_commission_votes.html

[4] Republicans keen on cutting spending: http://www.aarp.org/content/aarp/en/home/politics-society/government-elections/news-02-2011/new_poll_same_public_resistance_to_cuts.html?cq_ck=1297438650255

[5] Recent national voter polls: http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/government-elections/news-02-2011/new_poll_same_public_resistance_to_cuts.html?

[6] GOP Spending Cuts Would Affect Millions of People. Read: http://www.wcpo.com/news/national/gop-spending-cuts-would-affect-millions-of-people

[7] Cuts in Spending, More Taxes Part of Deficit Plan. Read: http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/government-elections/news-01-2011/poll_americans_wanttoreducedeficitwithoutharmingbenefits.html

[8] Social Security Fund Will Be Drained by 2037. Read: http://www.suntimes.com/business/3518786-420/security-social-benefits-program-retirement.html

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