Boehner Says Obama's Open to Entitlement Cuts

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 4 2011 10:11 AM

Boehner Says Obama's Open to Entitlement Cuts

He talks to the Wall Street Journal about many things, but the most interesting stuff comes when Boehner describes a conversation about entitlement reform with President Obama.

Mr. Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said he told President Barack Obama that he would take the political plunge alongside him if the president announced his own willingness to tackle changes to those programs.

"I offered to the president we could lock arms and walk out and begin the conversation about the size of the problem," Mr. Boehner said, adding that Mr. Obama responded "positively."

Advertisement

Before the State of the Union, some liberal journalists like Harold Myerson warned that Obama was thinking about talking entitlement cuts in the speech -- spanish fly for the pundit class and for Republicans. In the end, Obama only feinted at entitlement reform, mentioning no specifics. But several Democratic senators, including Chris Coons and Claire McCaskill, have talked about entitlement reform coming up in the budget debate. Paul Ryan has said, after prodding, that it will be in the Republican budget. Some Democrats I know are convinced the White House is luring Republicans into a tar pit, getting them to propose the sort of Social Security/Medicare cuts that bounced back on them in 1982 and 1996. This assumes the White House gets to control the debate. That hasn't been the theme of the budget fight so far.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

The World

How Canada’s Shooting Tragedies Have Shaped Its Gun Control Politics

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Paul Farmer: Up to 90 Percent of Ebola Patients Should Survive

Is he right?

Science

“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 9:19 PM The Phone Call Is Twenty Minutes of Pitch-Perfect, Wrenching Cinema
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.