Should Social Security benefits be used to reduce the federal deficit?

President Barack Obama’s budget is the first from a Democratic president to propose cuts to Social Security benefits.

130409165706-obama-budget-social-security-chart-620xa.png Source: CNN Money

The smaller payments to seniors are conditional. Obama says he will agree to the cuts only if the U.S. Congress passes a budget that includes new revenue.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the president’s budget holds entitlement reform ‘hostage’ for tax hikes. “If the president believes these modest entitlement savings are needed to help shore up these programs, there is no reason they should be held hostage for more tax hikes. That’s no way to lead and move the country forward.”

Democrats and advocates for seniors say the estimated $230 billion in federal debt reduction isn’t worth the cost to elderly Americans.

“The older you get, the bigger the reduction you get,’ Gary Koenig, director of economic security for AARP’s Public Policy Institute told CNN. “It’s hitting at a time when folks can least afford it.”

Today’s Question: Should Social Security benefits be used to reduce the federal deficit?