WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is seeking USD 3 trillion to 4 trillion in deficit cuts over the next decade, a move that would require putting Social Security, Medicare, defense spending and tax reform on the table as part of a balanced approach to cuts, Democratic officials familiar with the negotiations told CNN. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, did not say what types of cuts would have to be considered under such a proposal. In the past, one Social Security adjustment debt negotiators have discussed is cost-of-living.
The news comes as top Republican and Democratic congressional leaders headed to the White House Thursday to negotiate a deal to tackle mounting deficits and allow an increase in the federal debt ceiling. A congressional aide, close to the negotiations, said the only real talks going on are between Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, who are discussing “in good faith” a USD 4 to USD 5 trillion debt reduction package. The aide said the two parties are discussing reductions in Medicare, Medicaid and even Social Security, something Democrats like Harry Reid have long said is off the table.