There is an article posted by Fox News today that says President Obama wants to keep all of the entitlement programs without addressing how to keep the solvent. That is not true. President Obama has pressed Republicans for higher taxes to fund these programs and they have resisted, saying they want to roll back the benefits instead. Reducing essential benefits that people have earned throughout their working lifetime isn’t fair or acceptable. That is why it is essential to raise taxes while reducing other government expenses such as defense spending.
When you read “scare” headlines like the story posted here, and you read the content that attempts to make the President appear evasive or foolish, consider the source and then consider that Republicans still are opposed to higher taxes no matter how great the need.
"Social Security's disability trust fund could fail to cover all benefits early as 2016
By Jim Angle
Published January 25, 2013
As President Obama faces pressure on the left to defend federal entitlement programs from the benefit cuts that the Republicans say are necessary to keep the programs solvent decades down the road, one part of Social Security could fall short of paying out full benefits within a few years -- even while Obama is still president.
Over the long term, Social Security and Medicare have promised tens of trillions of dollars more in benefits than the nation can pay for under current policies. But Social Security's disability trust fund is in even worse shape, and current estimates say by 2016 it won't have enough money to pay full benefits.
"That's three years from now," Jim Capretta of the Ethics and Public Policy Center said. “And given the president's rhetoric and his posture, it's quite clear that he has no intention of doing anything about it."
The fiscal security of the disability trust fund got rapidly worse as the unemployment rate rose. The number of applications has almost doubled in the last 10 years, from 1.5 million a year in 2001 to more than 2.8 million a year in 2012.
Obama has said little about how he would fix the fund's finances.
"President Clinton talked about 'mend it, don’t end it,'" Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute said. "To judge by (Obama's) remarks, there's nothing that needs mending in our entitlement systems."
In his first term, Obama took steps to make it easier for people to apply for disability payments, but nothing was changed to help the program pay even bigger bills as it accommodated more beneficiaries.
Even so, Obama took a swipe at Republicans in his inaugural address by saying, "the commitments we make to each other -- through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security -- these things do not sap our initiative; they has strengthen us."