Obama Ready to Propose Big Changes in Medicare, Social Security?

When President Obama’s budget arrives on Capitol Hill on April 10, lawmakers in the opposition party – in keeping with a time-honored Washington custom – are certain to immediately brand it “Dead on Arrival.” This year, however, Obama’s fellow Democrats may not be far behind. Obama is reportedly ready to propose some big changes in Medicare and Social Security – two programs that Democrats have traditionally gone to the mat to protect. As Salon’s Joan Walsh reports: “White House sources …

Obama’s Charm Offensive: Time-Tested Strategy

Maybe the most surprising thing about President Obama’s wining and dining of GOP lawmakers is the fact that it’s surprising. Socializing that crossed party boundaries once was the lubricant that greased political compromise in Washington. In recent years, though, lawmakers have been spending much more time back in their home districts, which means they have less time to get to know their colleagues in Washington. And the polarization of politics has led to less two-party partying. Obama drew lots of …

Obama Frames Voting Reform Around 102-Year-Old Hero

The sheer determination of a 102-year-old Miami woman brought the U.S. government to its feet Tuesday night. In his State of the Union address, President Obama recognized Desiline Victor, a retired farmworker who voted last fall after enduring a wait that would have discouraged most voters. Lawmakers and other Washington VIPs rose to their feet and craned their necks to see Victor, sitting in the back row of the First Lady’s box. “When Desiline arrived at her polling place, she …

Rubio, in GOP Rebuttal, Says Obama Plan ‘Will Hurt Seniors’

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a rising star in the Republican Party, used his platform as the rebuttal speaker to the State of the Union Tuesday to talk about his personal connection to programs like Social Security and Medicare. “Mr. President, I still live in the same working class neighborhood I grew up in,” said Rubio, whose parents came from Cuba. “My neighbors aren’t millionaires. They’re retirees who depend on Social Security and Medicare. They’re workers who have to get …

Obama: Don’t Break Promises for Secure Retirement

President Obama told the nation Tuesday that programs aimed at retirement security need reforming but don’t offer the solution to the nation’s deficit woes. In his 2013 State of the Union speech, Obama said across-the-board budget cuts scheduled to go into effect to tackle the deficit are difficult, but cutting Medicare and Social Security benefits instead would be a worse idea. “Yes, the biggest driver of our long-term debt is the rising cost of health care for an aging population. …

White House to GOP: Hands Off Medicaid

As politicians squabble in the coming months over which federal programs to cut, Medicaid will be protected by a sort of favorite son status. “Other than the most minimal, smart, efficiency-type of measure, Medicaid savings – Medicaid cuts – for this president, for this administration, are not on the table,” said Gene Sperling, the director of the White House’s National Economic Council. Medicaid, the health care program for low-income Americans, will be expanded in 2014 under the provisions of President …