President Obama will not include cuts to Social Security and other earned-benefit programs in his upcoming budget, the White House confirmed on Thursday.
The cuts had been included in past proposals to lure Republicans into a so-called “grand bargain” that would raise taxes and cut spending with the goal of deficit reduction. The president faced fierce resistance to the cuts, and while Republicans liked the idea, they never agreed to pair the policy with higher taxes.
The withdrawal of the offer from the budget is a recognition of the reality that a grand bargain is simply too unpopular on both sides of the aisle. The death of the grand bargain, first reported by the Associated Press on Thursday, comes as annual budget deficits have fallen from more than $1 trillion to less than $500 billion next year.
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