Obama puts Medicare, Social Security cuts on the table

Amanda Carey Contributor
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The Obama administration, in seeking $4 trillion in spending cuts in a debt limit deal, has put major changes to Social Security and Medicare on the table if Republicans agree to increased tax revenues.

The offer caters to both sides in the debt limit negotiations and according to the Washington Post, President Obama will urge congressional leaders on Thursday to seize the opportunity to act. The compromise, however, still puts both Republicans and Democrats in tough spots.

Democrats have vowed to protect Medicare and Social Security, while Republicans still argue that tax increases are not realistic legislative proposals. If leadership from both parties agree to the Obama’s compromise, the next move will be to sell the plan to their respective bases and to members of Congress.

But Thursday’s meetings at the White House will reveal just how many concessions each party is willing to make.

The president has reportedly already privately discussed his plan with Speaker of the House John Boehner. Michael Steel, spokesperson for Boehner, told the Washington Post “there are no tax increases on the table.”

But House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, however, signaled Wednesday that he may be flexible on ending certain loopholes in the tax code. (Obama recognizes mistakes in Twitter town hall)

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has warned that if the debt limit is not raised by August 2, the United States will default on its debt.

UPDATE: In an email to The Daily Caller, a spokesperson for Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, offered a glimpse at what the response will be from the more conservative wing of the GOP caucus to Obama’s proposal. In short, even if the cuts actually do take place, there’s no way to make sure they last beyond the current Congress.

“None of these proposed cuts or reforms can be guaranteed to take place beyond 2012, because we cant bind future Congresses without a [balanced budget amendment],” said the spokesperson.

Watch Cantor on Social Security cuts, GOP compromise: