The Leader Board

Unbalanced Approach

Nov 28 2012

Democrats Are Taking Heat For Not Offering A Balanced Plan. Erskine Bowles & Editorial Pages Say Dems Must Move On Entitlements


Bowles: 'Democrats Must Move On Entitlements'

"Democrats must move on entitlements in cliff deal, Bowles says." (Wall Street Journal's Market Watch, 11/28/12)

  • "'We are going to have to reduce the cost of entitlement programs,' Bowles answered. 'I'm not going to negotiate the deal here, but I will tell you that I showed the White House $600 billion of cuts in health care entitlements yesterday. … Some of them are reforms, real reforms,' he said." (Daily Caller, 11/28/12)
  • "Asked if he sensed Democrats could be more flexible on curbing so-called entitlement programs like Medicare, Bowles said: 'I think we will see give in all areas if we're going to get a deal done…" (AP, 11/28/12)


Editorial: 'Mr. Obama's Time To Lead On Entitlements'

WASHINGTON POST: "At some point, [President Obama] has to prepare the American people — and his own supporters most of all — for the 'hard decisions' required to put the country on a sound financial footing. That means spending cuts, it means entitlement reform, it means compromise, it means a balanced solution... Only one person is in a position to make it happen." (Editorial, "Mr. Obama's Time To Lead On Entitlements," The Washington Post, 11/28/12)


Editorial: Dems Must 'Bend On Their Destructive Refusal To Trim Unsustainable Benefit Programs'

USA TODAY: 'Social Security represents more than one-fifth of federal spending, much too big to ignore.' "I am not going to be part of having Social Security as part of these talks relating to this deficit,' Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told reporters this month. Seriously? How exactly do Democrats expect Republicans to bend on their destructive refusal to raise taxes if Democrats won't bend on their destructive refusal to trim unsustainable benefit programs? Social Security represents more than one-fifth of federal spending, much too big to ignore." (Editorial, "Social Security Adds To Deficits," USA Today, 11/27/12)

  • "…take a look at the president's own budget to see what's really going on. On page 465 of the budget's 'Analytical Perspectives,' they'll find a chart showing that Social Security ran a deficit of $48 billion last year. This year, Social Security will come up $50.7 billion short. In 2015, as more Baby Boomers retire, the gap between cash in and cash out is expected to reach $86.6 billion. Need a second source? In a report released last month, the Congressional Budget Office said Social Security benefits began exceeding payroll tax revenue in 2010, and without changes, the program will never get back into balance. Denying this harsh reality requires playing accounting shell games and believing (or pretending to believe) that Social Security can be bailed out by its trust fund. And if you believe that, we have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn." (Editorial, "Social Security Adds To Deficits," USA Today, 11/27/12)

CBO: "With the population aging and health care costs per person likely to keep growing faster than the economy, the United States cannot sustain the federal spending programs that are now in place…" ("Choices For Deficit Reduction," Congressional Budget Office, P.6, 11/12)

SIMPSON-BOWLES: "Federal health care spending represents our single largest fiscal challenge over the long-run. As the baby boomers retire and overall health care costs continue to grow faster than the economy, federal health spending threatens to balloon." ("The Moment Of Truth," The National Commission On Fiscal Responsibility And Reform, P.36, 12/10)

SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D-IL): "I listen to the voices from the left and many of them say don't touch any of the entitlement programs. I don't think that's a responsible approach… I think we've got to be able to attack the entitlement programs, but do it in a sensible way that doesn't destroy them." (MSNBC's "Morning Joe," 11/27/12)

SEN. KENT CONRAD (D-ND): "…fundamental reform, we absolutely need it in our entitlement programs, Medicare, Social Security. …we do need to address Social Security because it's headed for insolvency as well." (Fox News' "Fox News Sunday," 11/11/12)