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MinnPost.com: Obama risks losing the left by considering entitlement cuts

The biggest news out of the bipartisan deficit reduction talks was that President Obama had put Medicare and Social Security on the negotiating table.

Democrats have long considered the social safety nets protected from the types of spending cuts that congressional Republicans have pursued as part of a deficit reduction package to accompany an increase in the national debt ceiling. So on Thursday, they reacted predictably harshly to the news, warning any cuts to services or eligibility in Medicare or Social Security could jeopardize their support for any deficit reduction plan that comes to them for a vote.


The biggest news out of the bipartisan deficit reduction talks was that President Obama had put Medicare and Social Security on the negotiating table.

Democrats have long considered the social safety nets protected from the types of spending cuts that congressional Republicans have pursued as part of a deficit reduction package to accompany an increase in the national debt ceiling. So on Thursday, they reacted predictably harshly to the news, warning any cuts to services or eligibility in Medicare or Social Security could jeopardize their support for any deficit reduction plan that comes to them for a vote.

In short: bluffing or not, Democrats say Obama risks losing their support for a debt limit deal if those programs see significant cuts.

Leading the way was Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison’s Progressive Caucus, which announced they’d sent a letter to Obama with a simple ultimatum: cut Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security spending and you’ve lost our votes.

The letter said reform for to the programs should come in the form of “well-conceived improvements, not deep, ideologically driven cuts with harmful consequences.”

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