WASHINGTON - - Advocates for the elderly and for federal workers are criticizing a proposal to slow the growth of benefit programs.
President Barack Obama's budget proposal would include a revised inflation adjustment that would effectively limit annual increases in a wide range of benefit programs, but its biggest impact would be on Social Security.
The budget plan still calls for additional taxes from the wealthy. That, combined with the slower growth in benefits, would reduce the government deficit by $1.8 trillion over 10 years.
The proposals are contained in a summary from the Obama administration.
The head of a liberal research organization in Washington calls the idea of slowing the growth in benefits "bad policy and even worse bargaining strategy." And the head of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare says seniors are already being short-changed on their cost-of-living increases. He says
Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner warns that Obama shouldn't insist that those cuts be contingent on more tax increases. He says if Obama believes the savings are necessary, they shouldn't be "held hostage for more tax hikes."