President Obama hopes to have Democrats take back the House in 2014. But his plan to cut Social Security and Medicare, arguably the most popular entitlement programs, leaves House Democrats vulnerable to GOP attacks.
In addition to reducing Social Security payments by $130 billion, through annual chained Consumer Price Indexing (CPI), instead of the current cost of living formula, the Obama Administration is willing to cut Medicare as well.
However, there is a case to be made for the suggestion that cutting Social Security and Medicare are the most damaging budget cuts, both economically and politically.
During the 2012 campaign season, Republicans used President Obama’s 2011 reduction in Medicare provider payments as a political weapon against Democratic candidates.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, the defeated Republican presidential team, called Obama’s payment shift “benefit cuts” even though the only affected provider services.
But no matter how inaccurate Romney’s charges were about Medicare payments, all voters heard were the words “Medicare cuts.”
While the campaign attacks from the Romney team were not enough to win him the election, voters made it clear, as they have consistently done in polling data, that they do not want to see profound changes to Social Security and Medicare benefits.
Democrats need to pick up 17 seats in the House in 2014 if they are going gain control. With Obama going after the bread-and-butter issues of the Democratic Party, the biggest threat to flipping control of the House might just be President Obama.