SOTU: Obama Won’t Endorse Raising Retirement Age or Reducing Social Security Benefits

Some news on the State of the Union address:

Obama won’t endorse raising retirement age or reducing Social Security benefits, by Lori Montgomery, Washington Post: President Obama has decided not to endorse his deficit commission’s recommendation to raise the retirement age, and otherwise reduce Social Security benefits, in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, cheering liberals and drawing a stark line between the White House and key Republicans in Congress. …

Administration officials said Obama is unlikely to specifically endorse any of the deficit commission’s recommendations in the speech, but cautioned that he is unlikely to rule them off the table, either. On Social Security, for example, he is likely to urge lawmakers to work together to make the program solvent, without going into details, according to congressional sources. …

That Obama won’t be endorsing these suggestions from the deficit commission is good news, but now the question is whether he’ll steadfastly oppose these changes if they are part of the deal that arises when “lawmakers to work together to make the program solvent.” The caution that nothing is off the table is not very reassuring. It sounds like he has no desire to lead the charge, but may jump aboard if he can say the other side gave him no other choice. I hope I’m wrong about that.

About Mark Thoma 243 Articles

Affiliation: University of Oregon

Mark Thoma is a member of the Economics Department at the University of Oregon. He joined the UO faculty in 1987 and served as head of the Economics Department for five years. His research examines the effects that changes in monetary policy have on inflation, output, unemployment, interest rates and other macroeconomic variables with a focus on asymmetries in the response of these variables to policy changes, and on changes in the relationship between policy and the economy over time. He has also conducted research in other areas such as the relationship between the political party in power, and macroeconomic outcomes and using macroeconomic tools to predict transportation flows. He received his doctorate from Washington State University.

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