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Boehner pans Obama’s offer to trade Social Security change for tax hikes

by FOXNews.com  |  published on April 6, 2013

House Speaker John Boehner preemptively rejected President Obama’s call for more tax hikes Friday, after administration officials revealed the president’s upcoming budget would tie tax hikes to modest changes in Social Security and other benefit programs.

The president plans to unveil his budget Wednesday. According to a senior administration official, the plan includes a provision to lower cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security, the benefit program for retirees. This would curb the growth in benefits.

The administration made clear that it is offering changes to Social Security and Medicare — the two benefit programs most important to seniors — in order to convince Republicans to accept increased revenues. The official said the plan to be unveiled next week “isn’t a menu of options for them to choose from — it’s a cohesive package.”

But Boehner bristled at the demand, noting that the president and his party already extracted tax increases on top earners as part of the deal to avert the fiscal crisis at the end of 2012.

“In the end, the president got his tax hikes on the wealthy with no corresponding spending cuts. At some point we need to solve our spending problem, and what the president has offered would leave us with a budget that never balances. In reality, he’s moved in the wrong direction, routinely taking off the table entitlement reforms he’s previously told me he could support,” Boehner said.

Democrats have argued the recently enacted sequester cuts too deep, and continue to press for tax increases to help close the deficit. Many Democrats oppose any drastic changes to entitlements. The inclusion of the Social Security provision by Obama was meant as a gesture to Republicans – and one that has already drawn the ire of liberal members of Congress.

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