Well, seniors have paid into Social Security. They've paid into Medicare over a lifetime of hard work. And the notion that somehow they are asking for something that they don't deserve makes no sense to me. They're also under severe stress from the rise in things like gas prices, food prices, and home heating-oil prices. And if you're on a fixed income and the inflation rates on things like that are going up faster than your income, you have reason to worry. But I also think that older Americans don't want to leave huge debts to their kids and their grandkids in the form of massive deficits. That's why it's been important to reform the health care system, which is different from simply lopping off benefits under Medicare.
The president adds:
The issue is, can we make these tweaks to ensure that everybody who's expecting a dollar in Social Security payments gets a dollar instead of 75 cents? And the sooner we do it, the better off we're going to be.
For more background, see Fred Lynch's new book, One Nation Under AARP: The Fight Over Medicare, Social Security, and America's Future.