Obama puts Social Security, Medicare cuts on the table

Posted: July 7, 2011 in US News

July 7, 2011

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After weeks of impasse, President Barack Obama and top congressional leaders are aiming for “something big” as they resume budget talks on Thursday to avert an imminent default.

With Republicans showing new flexibility on taxes, Democrats say Obama will push negotiators to double their target to $4 trillion (2.5 trillion pounds) in budget savings over 10 years.

That would be an ambitious goal, but there have been a few hints of progress since talks hit a brick wall two weeks ago.

The meeting, which takes place at the White House, is due to start at 11 a.m. EDT (4 p.m. British time) and last about an hour.

Obama will propose cuts in Social Security and major reductions in Medicare, which mark a major shift for the White House, The Washington Post reported late on Wednesday, citing people in both parties with knowledge of the proposal.

In exchange, Obama would seek Republican support for increasing tax revenues, the Post reported.

Negotiators are trying to craft a deal that would allow lawmakers to say they are taking steps to keep the national debt under control even as they sign off on further borrowing.

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