House Speaker John Boehner tells today's Wall Street Journal that he promises that a budget that he'll announce later this year for fiscal year 2012 will include cuts to Social Security and Medicare, despite the fact that it could comes at great political risk to his party.
Boehner and other Republicans jumped all over Barack Obama in late January for his State of the Union Address, which barely at all mentioned the country's unprecedented financial debt, accusing him of "punting" on the issue of entitlement reform.
But the bare political realities were spelled out yesterday (in case people weren't sure) when the Wall Street Journal & NBC News released a poll that showed that less than a quarter of Americans support making significant cuts to those two social programs. In that poll, even self-described tea party supporters by a nearly 2-1 margin declared significant cuts to Social Security "unacceptable." From the story:
But Republican Bill McInturff and Democrat Peter Hart, the pollsters who conducted the survey, said the poll raises warning signs for anyone proposing cuts to the three main entitlement programs, including Medicaid, that provide health and retirement benefits to seniors and the poor. The programs, which already make up 41% of federal spending, are expected to balloon in coming years.
Mr. McInturff called the poll "a huge flashing yellow sign for Republicans on how much preparation will be needed if they propose to change Social Security and Medicare."