The drama surrounding Obama’s new jobs plan has eclipsed the other major item on the White House’s September agenda: to offer his most specific proposal yet for reshaping Medicare, Medicaid and the tax code.
In the speech Thursday, Obama will challenge the 12-member congressional supercommittee to exceed its $1.5 trillion goal for budget savings — setting a higher target that would allow the additional money to fund tax breaks and other stimulus spending. But the “very specific” deficit recommendations that Obama promised last month won’t come until after the speech, although the exact timing is unclear, White House officials said.
Before the “grand bargain” fell apart over tax revenues, Obama and Boehner agreed on about $250 billion in proposed cuts to Medicare, including gradually raising the eligibility age to 67 and hiking co-pays and premiums for wealthier beneficiaries. They also agreed to change the inflation calculator for Social Security and other federal programs — which critics call a benefit cut.
“It will include those kinds of things that in a different fiscal environment, the White House wouldn’t be supportive of,” one Democratic official said.