Damn it. I was really starting to like Second Term Obama. Now we’re cutting Social Security and Medicare? The deal supposedly contains the expansion of a pilot program that required people applying for disability to get the opinion of two doctors. That is a real obstacle for poor people, and in the program, it successfully reduced the number of successful applicants. But the point of a disability program is not to save money, but to see that everyone who’s entitled to the benefit gets it:
WASHINGTON — Congressional leaders and the Obama administration are close to a crucial budget deal that would modestly increase domestic spending over the next two years and raise the federal borrowing limit. The accord would avert a potentially cataclysmic default on the government’s debt and dispense with perhaps the most divisive issue in Washington just days before Speaker John A. Boehner is expected to turn over his gavel to Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin.
While congressional aides cautioned that the deal was far from certain, and the Treasury Department declined to comment, officials briefed on the negotiations said the emerging accord would call for cuts in spending on Medicare and Social Security disability benefits.
The prospective fiscal agreement would solve each of those problems, and theoretically could be one of the last spending fights between President Obama and the Republican-controlled Congress before he leaves office in January 2017.
The White House on Monday acknowledged that progress had been made in budget talks among top administration officials and Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, but said no final deal had been struck.